Implementing oral chemotherapy services in community pharmacies: a qualitative study of chemotherapy nurses' and pharmacists' views.

Butt, Farida and Ream, Emma (2016) Implementing oral chemotherapy services in community pharmacies: a qualitative study of chemotherapy nurses' and pharmacists' views. International Journal of Pharmacy Practice, 24(3), pp. 149-159. ISSN (print) 0961-7671

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OBJECTIVES: Changes in health-care provision have led to cancer patients being offered oral chemotherapy in the community. Three levels of oral chemotherapy services have been proposed (levels 1, 2 and 3) with community pharmacies playing differing roles within them. This study aims to explore health-care professionals' views on oral chemotherapy services being delivered by community pharmacies and to gain insights into the barriers, facilitators and training/knowledge needs of community pharmacists with respect to providing them. METHODS: Qualitative semi-structured interviews were conducted with a purposive sample of three chemotherapy nurses, five oncology pharmacists and five community pharmacists. Data were analysed thematically using Framework Analysis. KEY FINDINGS: Findings for level 1 and 2 services included uncertainty on community pharmacists' professional responsibilities, the expertise of GPs in prescribing oral chemotherapy and the training and competency of community pharmacists. The lack of patient information, care and support provision was emphasised for all the models. Although level 1 was achievable in current practice, level 2 was considered the safest option, while level 3 was ideal but risky option. For all levels, training and education for community pharmacists and inter-professional issues were facilitators to oral chemotherapy services. The service environment, dispensing process-related constraints (access to blood test results and protocols) were significant barriers for levels 2 and 3. Advanced communication skills, patient education and counselling were identified as key areas for education and training for community pharmacists. CONCLUSION: The study suggests there are significant concerns and challenges associated with community pharmacies implementing any of the proposed levels of oral chemotherapy services. Educational and training opportunities for community pharmacists and the careful development of safe infrastructures will be essential in the future planning and implementation of any community pharmacy oral chemotherapy service.

Item Type: Article
Research Area: Cancer studies
Nursing and midwifery
Faculty, School or Research Centre: Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing (until 2017) > School of Pharmacy and Chemistry
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Depositing User: Automatic Import Agent
Date Deposited: 08 Jan 2016 11:58
Last Modified: 14 Mar 2017 11:33

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