What is the new medicines use review ‘patient survey’ attempting to capture in the context of existing patient satisfaction with pharmacy questionnaires and a new conceptual framework?
van den Berg, M. and Donyai, P. (2010) What is the new medicines use review ‘patient survey’ attempting to capture in the context of existing patient satisfaction with pharmacy questionnaires and a new conceptual framework? International Journal of Pharmacy Practice, 18 (S1). pp. 40-41. ISSN 0961-7671
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1111/j.2042-7174.2010.00040.x
The community pharmacy service medicines use review (MUR) was introduced in 2005 ‘to improve patient knowledge, concordance and use of medicines’ through a private patient–pharmacist consultation. The MUR presents a fundamental change in community pharmacy service provision. While traditionally pharmacists are dispensers of medicines and providers of medicines advice, and patients as recipients, the MUR considers pharmacists providing consultation-type activities and patients as active participants. The MUR facilitates a two-way discussion about medicines use. Traditional patient–pharmacist behaviours transform into a new set of behaviours involving the booking of appointments, consultation processes and form completion, and the physical environment of the patient–pharmacist interaction moves from the traditional setting of the dispensary and medicines counter to a private consultation room. Thus, the new service challenges traditional identities and behaviours of the patient and the pharmacist as well as the environment in which the interaction takes place. In 2008, the UK government concluded there is at present too much emphasis on the quantity of MURs rather than on their quality. A number of plans to remedy the perceived imbalance included a suggestion to reward ‘health outcomes’ achieved, with calls for a more focussed and scientific approach to the evaluation of pharmacy services using outcomes research. Specifically, the UK government set out the main principal research areas for the evaluation of pharmacy services to include ‘patient and public perceptions and satisfaction’as well as ‘impact on care and outcomes’. A limited number of ‘patient satisfaction with pharmacy services’ type questionnaires are available, of varying quality, measuring dimensions relating to pharmacists’ technical competence, behavioural impressions and general satisfaction. For example, an often cited paper by Larson uses two factors to measure satisfaction, namely ‘friendly explanation’ and ‘managing therapy’; the factors are highly interrelated and the questions somewhat awkwardly phrased, but more importantly, we believe the questionnaire excludes some specific domains unique to the MUR. By conducting patient interviews with recent MUR recipients, we have been working to identify relevant concepts and develop a conceptual framework to inform item development for a Patient Reported Outcome Measure questionnaire bespoke to the MUR. We note with interest the recent launch of a multidisciplinary audit template by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain (RPSGB) in an attempt to review the effectiveness of MURs and improve their quality. This template includes an MUR ‘patient survey’. We will discuss this ‘patient survey’ in light of our work and existing patient satisfaction with pharmacy questionnaires, outlining a new conceptual framework as a basis for measuring patient satisfaction with the MUR. Ethical approval for the study was obtained from the NHS Surrey Research Ethics Committee on 2 June 2008. References 1. Department of Health (2008). Pharmacy in England: Building on Strengths – Delivering the Future. London: HMSO. www. official-documents.gov.uk/document/cm73/7341/7341.pdf (accessed 29 September 2009). 2. Larson LN et al. Patient satisfaction with pharmaceutical care: update of a validated instrument. JAmPharmAssoc 2002; 42: 44–50. 3. Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain (2009). Pharmacy Medicines Use Review – Patient Audit. London: RPSGB. http:// qi4pd.org.uk/index.php/Medicines-Use-Review-Patient-Audit. html (accessed 29 September 2009).