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Patient and public perception and experience of community pharmacy services post-discharge in the UK: A rapid review and qualitative study

Lookup NU author(s): Sarah Khayyat, Dr Philippa Walters, Dr Hamde Nazar



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).


© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2021.Objectives To investigate the perception and experience of patients and the public (PP) about community pharmacy (CP) services and other primary care services after hospital discharge back home. Design and setting A rapid review and qualitative study exploring PP perceptions of primary care, focusing on CP services in the UK. Methods A mixed-methods approach was adopted including a rapid review undertaken between 24 April and 8 May 2019 across four databases (MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsycINFO and CINAHL). Semistructured interviews were then conducted investigating for shifts in current PP perception, but also nuanced opinion pertaining to CP services. A convenience sampling technique was used through two online PP groups for recruitment. Thematic framework analysis was applied to interview transcripts. Participants Any consenting adults ≥18 years old were invited regardless of their medical condition, and whether they had used post-discharge services or not. Results Twenty-five studies met the inclusion criteria. Patients were generally supportive and satisfied with primary care services. However, some barriers to the use of these services included: resource limitations; poor communication between healthcare providers or between patient and healthcare providers; and patients' lack of awareness of available services. From the 11 interviewees, there was a lack of awareness of CP post-discharge services. Nevertheless, there was general appreciation of the benefit of CP services to patients, professionals and wider healthcare system. Potential barriers to uptake and use included: accessibility, resource availability, lack of awareness, and privacy and confidentiality issues related to information-sharing. Several participants felt the uptake of such services should be improved. Conclusion There was alignment between the review and qualitative study about high patient acceptance, appreciation and satisfaction with primary care services post-discharge. Barriers to the use of CP post-discharge services identified from interviews resonated with the existing literature; this is despite developments in pharmacy practice in recent times towards clinical and public health services.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Khayyat S, Walters P, Whittlesea C, Nazar H

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: BMJ Open

Year: 2021

Volume: 11

Issue: 3

Online publication date: 04/03/2021

Acceptance date: 10/02/2021

Date deposited: 09/04/2021

ISSN (electronic): 2044-6055

Publisher: BMJ Publishing Group


DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2020-043344


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