Roles, barriers and behavioral determinants related to community pharmacists' involvement in optimizing opioid therapy for chronic pain: a qualitative study

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Abstract

Background Opioid are currently widely used to manage chronic non-malignant pain (CNMP), but there is a growing concern about harm resulting from opioid misuse and the need for medicine optimization, in which pharmacists could potentially play a key role. Objective This study explored pharmacists' roles, barriers and determinants related to their involvement in optimizing prescribed opioids for patients with chronic pain. Setting Community pharmacies in the United Kingdom. Method Semi-structured interviews based on the Theoretical Domains Framework were conducted between January and May 2020 with 20 community pharmacists recruited through professional networks. Data were analysed thematically. Main outcome measure: Pharmacists’ perceived roles, barriers and behavioural determinants in relation to opioid therapy optimization. Result Pharmacists demonstrated desire to contribute to opioid therapy optimization. However, they described that they were often challenged by the lack of relevant knowledge, skills and training, inadequate time and resources, systemic constraints (such as lack of access to medical records and information about diagnosis), and other barriers including relationships with doctors and patients. Conclusion The contribution of community pharmacists to optimize opioid therapy in CNMP is unclear and impeded by lack of appropriate training and systemic constraints. There is a need to develop innovative practice models by addressing the barriers identified in this study to enhance the contribution of community pharmacists in optimization of opioid therapy for chronic pain.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages12
Journal International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Oct 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work funded by University of Birmingham. AA was sponsored for her PhD by Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia, Cultural Bureau in London for her PhD.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s).

Keywords

  • Chronic pain
  • Community pharmacists
  • Medicine optimization
  • Opioid
  • Qualitative
  • Theoretical domains framework

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacy
  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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