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Introducing Pharmaceutical Care to Primary Care in Iceland—An Action Research Study

Introducing Pharmaceutical Care to Primary Care in Iceland—An Action Research Study

Title: Introducing Pharmaceutical Care to Primary Care in Iceland—An Action Research Study
Author: Blöndal, Anna Bryndís
Kälvemark Sporrong, Sofia   orcid.org/0000-0001-5848-8625
Almarsdóttir, Anna Birna   orcid.org/0000-0002-3297-8754
Date: 2017-04-26
Language: English
Scope: 23
University/Institute: Háskóli Íslands
University of Iceland
School: Heilbrigðisvísindasvið (HÍ)
School of Health Sciences (UI)
Department: Lyfjafræðideild (HÍ)
Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences (UI)
Series: Pharmacy;5(2)
ISSN: 2226-4787
DOI: 10.3390/pharmacy5020023
Subject: Pharmacists; Pharmaceutical care; General practitioners; Primary care; Action research; Lyfjafræðingar; Aðhlynning; Starfendarannsóknir
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11815/373

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Blondal AB, Sporrong SK, Almarsdottir AB. Introducing Pharmaceutical Care to Primary Care in Iceland—An Action Research Study. Pharmacy. 2017; 5(2):23. doi:10.3390/pharmacy5020023


Even though pharmaceutical care is not a new concept in pharmacy, its introduction and development has proved to be challenging. In Iceland, general practitioners are not familiar with pharmaceutical care and additionally no such service is offered in pharmacies or primary care settings. Introducing pharmaceutical care in primary care in Iceland is making great efforts to follow other countries, which are bringing the pharmacist more into patient care. General practitioners are key stakeholders in this endeavor. The aim of this study was to introduce pharmacist-led pharmaceutical care into primary care clinics in Iceland in collaboration with general practitioners by presenting different setting structures. Action research provided the framework for this research. Data was collected from pharmaceutical care interventions, whereby the pharmaceutical care practitioner ensures that each of a patient’s medications is assessed to determine if it is appropriate, effective, safe, and that the patient can take medicine as expected. Sources of data included pharmaceutical care notes on patients, researcher’s notes, meetings, and interviews with general practitioners over the period of the study. The study ran from September 2013 to October 2015. Three separate semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted with five general practitioners from one primary health care clinic in Iceland at different time points throughout the study. Pharmaceutical care was provided to elderly patients (n = 125) before and between general practitioners’ interviews. The study setting was a primary care clinic in the Reykjavik area and the patients’ homes. Results showed that the GPs’ knowledge about pharmacist competencies as healthcare providers and their potential in patient care increased. GPs would now like to have access to a pharmacist on a daily basis. Direct contact between the pharmacist and GPs is better when working in the same physical space. Pharmacist’s access to medical records is necessary for optimal service. Pharmacist-led clinical service was deemed most needed in dose dispensing polypharmacy patients. This research indicated that it was essential to introduce Icelandic GPs to the potential contribution of pharmacists in patient care and that action research was a useful methodology to promote and develop a relationship between those two health care providers in primary care in Iceland.


This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

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