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Pharmacy, Volume 5, Issue 2 (June 2017)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Quality of Life and Medication Adherence of Independently Living Older Adults Enrolled in a Pharmacist-Based Medication Management Program
Pharmacy 2017, 5(2), 20; doi:10.3390/pharmacy5020020
Received: 29 December 2016 / Revised: 7 March 2017 / Accepted: 29 March 2017 / Published: 6 April 2017
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Abstract
This study sought to understand the medication adherence and quality of life (QOL) of recipients of a pharmacist-based medication management program among independently living older adults. Using a cross-sectional, quasi-experimental study design, we compared older adults enrolled in the program to older adults
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This study sought to understand the medication adherence and quality of life (QOL) of recipients of a pharmacist-based medication management program among independently living older adults. Using a cross-sectional, quasi-experimental study design, we compared older adults enrolled in the program to older adults not enrolled in the program. Data were collected via face-to-face interviews in independent-living facilities and in participants’ homes. Independently living older adults who were enrolled in the medication management program (n = 38) were compared to older adults not enrolled in the program (control group (n = 41)). All participants were asked to complete questionnaires on health-related quality of life (QOL, using the SF-36) and medication adherence (using the four-item Morisky scale). The medication management program recipients reported significantly more prescribed medications (p < 0.0001) and were more likely to report living alone (p = 0.01) than the control group. The medication management program recipients had a significantly lower SF-36 physical functioning score (p = 0.03) compared to the control group, although other SF-36 domains and self-reported medication adherence were similar between the groups. Despite taking more medications and more commonly living alone, independent living older adults enrolled in a pharmacist-based medication management program had similar QOL and self-reported medication adherence when compared to older adults not enrolled in the program. This study provides initial evidence for the characteristics of older adults receiving a pharmacist-based medication management program, which may contribute to prolonged independent living and positive health outcomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pharmacists’ Role in Improving Medication Use and Health Outcomes)
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Open AccessArticle Drug Use before and during Pregnancy in Japan: The Japan Environment and Children’s Study
Pharmacy 2017, 5(2), 21; doi:10.3390/pharmacy5020021
Received: 20 October 2016 / Revised: 2 April 2017 / Accepted: 5 April 2017 / Published: 10 April 2017
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Abstract
Purpose: To elucidate drug use before and during pregnancy in Japan. Methods: The Japan Environment and Children’s Study (JECS) is an ongoing nationwide birth cohort study. We analyzed data from JECS involving cases where drugs were used for 12 months before pregnancy was
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Purpose: To elucidate drug use before and during pregnancy in Japan. Methods: The Japan Environment and Children’s Study (JECS) is an ongoing nationwide birth cohort study. We analyzed data from JECS involving cases where drugs were used for 12 months before pregnancy was diagnosed, between the time of diagnosis of pregnancy until week 12 of pregnancy, and after week 12 of pregnancy. Results: We analyzed data from 97,464 pregnant women. The percentages of pregnant women who had taken one or more drugs and supplements before diagnosis of pregnancy, between the time of diagnosis of pregnancy until week 12 of pregnancy, and after week 12 of pregnancy, were 78.4%, 57.1%, and 68.8% respectively. Excluding iron supplements, folic acid, and other vitamins and minerals, the percentages of women taking supplements were 75.3%, 36.0%, and 51.7% at each respective time point. The following drugs and supplements were frequently used for 12 months before pregnancy diagnosis: Commercially available antipyretics, analgesics, and/or medicine for treating common cold (34.7%), antipyretics, analgesics, and/or medicine for treating common colds, which were prescribed in hospitals (29.8%), antimicrobial drugs (14.0%), and anti-allergy drugs (12.5%). The following drugs and supplements were frequently used from the time of pregnancy diagnosis until week 12 of pregnancy, and after week 12 of pregnancy: folic acid (28.9% and 26.2%), antipyretics, analgesics and/or medicines for treating common cold, that were prescribed in hospitals (7.8% and 13.3%), Chinese herbal medicines (6.0% and 9.4%, and uterine relaxants (5.1% and 15.2%). Conclusions: The analysis of a nationwide cohort study showed that a high percentage of Japanese pregnant women were taking medicinal drugs. Further research is required to elucidate the relationship between drug use during pregnancy and birth defects in Japan. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Comparison of Insulin Detemir and Insulin Glargine for Hospitalized Patients on a Basal-Bolus Protocol
Pharmacy 2017, 5(2), 22; doi:10.3390/pharmacy5020022
Received: 3 November 2016 / Revised: 17 April 2017 / Accepted: 18 April 2017 / Published: 23 April 2017
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Abstract
BACKGROUND: The primary purpose of this study is to determine whether insulin detemir is equivalent to insulin glargine in controlling hyperglycemia for the adult hospitalized patient on a basal-bolus treatment regimen. METHODS: A retrospective study was conducted at two acute care hospitals within
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BACKGROUND: The primary purpose of this study is to determine whether insulin detemir is equivalent to insulin glargine in controlling hyperglycemia for the adult hospitalized patient on a basal-bolus treatment regimen. METHODS: A retrospective study was conducted at two acute care hospitals within the same health system. Patients from both facilities who were initiated on a basal-bolus subcutaneous insulin regimen were included in the study. The basal-bolus regimen consisted of three components: basal, bolus, and corrective insulin with only the data from the first seven days analyzed. Once the basal-bolus protocol was initiated, all previous glycemic agents were discontinued. The target glycemic goal of the study was 100–180 mg/dL. RESULTS: In both groups, 50% of the patients had achieved the target glycemic control goal (100–180 mg/dL) by day 2 (p = 0.3). However, on the seventh or last day of basal-bolus treatment, whichever came first, 36.36% of patients receiving insulin detemir (n = 88) achieved the blood glucose reading goal compared to 52.00% in patients receiving insulin glargine (n = 100) (p = 0.03). This corresponded to an adjusted odds ratio of 2.12 (1.08 to 4.15), p = 0.03. The adjusting variables were provider type, whether the patient was hospitalized within 30 days prior and diagnosis of stroke. The mean blood glucose readings for the insulin glargine and the insulin detemir groups while on basal-bolus therapy were 200 mg/dL and 215 mg/dL, respectively (p = 0.05). The total number of blood glucose readings less than 70 mg/dL and less than 45 mg/dL was very low and there were no differences in number of episodes with hypoglycemia between the two groups. CONCLUSION: There was not a statistical difference between the two groups at 2 days, however there was on the seventh day or the last day of basal-bolus treatment. There were nonsignificant hypoglycemia events between basal insulin groups and the results for the last or seventh day of treatment may not be clinically significant in practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hospital Pharmacy)
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Open AccessArticle Teaching Prescribing: Just What the Doctor Ordered? A Thematic Analysis of the Views of Newly Qualified Doctors
Pharmacy 2017, 5(2), 32; doi:10.3390/pharmacy5020032
Received: 27 April 2017 / Revised: 22 May 2017 / Accepted: 9 June 2017 / Published: 13 June 2017
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Abstract
Undergraduate medical education has been criticised for failing to adequately prepare doctors for the task of prescribing. Pharmacists have been shown to improve medication use in hospitals. This study aims to elicit the views of intern doctors on the challenges of prescribing, and
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Undergraduate medical education has been criticised for failing to adequately prepare doctors for the task of prescribing. Pharmacists have been shown to improve medication use in hospitals. This study aims to elicit the views of intern doctors on the challenges of prescribing, and to suggest changes in education to enhance prescribing practice and potential role of the pharmacist. Semi-structured, qualitative interviews were conducted with intern doctors in their first year post qualification in an Irish hospital. Data collection was conducted until no new themes emerged and thematic analysis was performed. Thirteen interviews took place. Interns described training in practical prescribing as limited and felt the curriculum failed to convey the reality of actual prescribing. Pharmacists were perceived to be a useful, but underutilised, information source in the prescribing process. They requested an earlier introduction, and repeated exposure, to prescribing, and suggested the involvement of peers and pharmacists in this teaching. Intern doctors reported difficulties in applying knowledge gained in medical school to clinical practice. New strategies are needed to enhance the clinical relevance of the medical curriculum by rethinking the learning outcomes regarding prescribing practice and the involvement of pharmacists in prescribing education. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Awareness and Use of mHealth Apps: A Study from England
Pharmacy 2017, 5(2), 33; doi:10.3390/pharmacy5020033
Received: 25 April 2017 / Revised: 7 June 2017 / Accepted: 7 June 2017 / Published: 14 June 2017
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Abstract
Purpose: Mobile health (mHealth) solutions have become an inevitable element of the healthcare landscape. The recommendation and use of mHealth is important, but it is often underutilised. This study was conducted in England. It aimed to determine the use and recommendation of mHealth
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Purpose: Mobile health (mHealth) solutions have become an inevitable element of the healthcare landscape. The recommendation and use of mHealth is important, but it is often underutilised. This study was conducted in England. It aimed to determine the use and recommendation of mHealth apps by pharmacists, the public’s perceptions of mHealth apps in general, and the awareness and use of health apps by diabetic patients in particular. Methods: The study used a mixed research approach, utilising a sequence of survey-based questionnaires with pharmacists and the general public, followed by semi-structured interviews with diabetic patients. Results: Pharmacists’ questionnaires revealed that 56% of the respondents were aware of health apps, 60% of which recommended them to patients. Over 76% of the individuals owned a smartphone. The types of applications that saw the most use from the general public were health and lifestyle apps (24%), social apps (19%), followed by news (18%). Although eight out of nine diabetic patients owned a smartphone, only three used diabetes apps. Diabetic patients also suggested an interest in using diabetes apps to aid in optimising care via the utilisation of visual aids, reminders, recording patient data, social coaching, and remote collaboration with healthcare professionals (HCPs), but time was seen as the biggest obstacle to using a diabetes mHealth application. Conclusion: Despite the growing number of mHealth apps, the level of awareness and usability of such apps by patients and pharmacists was still relatively low. Nevertheless, the majority who used health apps found them to be beneficial, and the public agreed that it helped them to live a healthier lifestyle. Therefore, health apps have great potential in health promotion. Pharmacists are ideally placed to promote them and make patients more aware of them. To increase the use of these apps, it is necessary to first increase awareness and knowledge of these apps, both to the public and to healthcare professionals. Full article
Open AccessArticle Introducing Pharmaceutical Care to Primary Care in Iceland—An Action Research Study
Pharmacy 2017, 5(2), 23; doi:10.3390/pharmacy5020023
Received: 31 January 2017 / Revised: 15 April 2017 / Accepted: 21 April 2017 / Published: 26 April 2017
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Abstract
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.
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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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pharmacists’ Role in Improving Medication Use and Health Outcomes)
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Open AccessArticle Curriculum Mapping of the Master’s Program in Pharmacy in Slovenia with the PHAR-QA Competency Framework
Pharmacy 2017, 5(2), 24; doi:10.3390/pharmacy5020024
Received: 29 December 2016 / Revised: 14 March 2017 / Accepted: 22 April 2017 / Published: 2 May 2017
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Abstract
This article presents the results of mapping the Slovenian pharmacy curriculum to evaluate the adequacy of the recently developed and validated European Pharmacy Competences Framework (EPCF). The mapping was carried out and evaluated progressively by seven members of the teaching staff at the
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This article presents the results of mapping the Slovenian pharmacy curriculum to evaluate the adequacy of the recently developed and validated European Pharmacy Competences Framework (EPCF). The mapping was carried out and evaluated progressively by seven members of the teaching staff at the University of Ljubljana’s Faculty of Pharmacy. Consensus was achieved by using a two-round modified Delphi technique to evaluate the coverage of competences in the current curriculum. The preliminary results of the curriculum mapping showed that all of the competences as defined by the EPCF are covered in Ljubljana’s academic program. However, because most EPCF competences cover healthcare-oriented pharmacy practice, a lack of competences was observed for the drug development and production perspectives. Both of these perspectives are important because a pharmacist is (or should be) responsible for the entire process, from the development and production of medicines to pharmaceutical care in contact with patients. Nevertheless, Ljubljana’s graduates are employed in both of these pharmaceutical professions in comparable proportions. The Delphi study revealed that the majority of differences in scoring arise from different perspectives on the pharmacy profession (e.g., community, hospital, industrial, etc.). Nevertheless, it can be concluded that curriculum mapping using the EPCF is very useful for evaluating and recognizing weak and strong points of the curriculum. However, the competences of the framework should address various fields of the pharmacist’s profession in a more balanced way. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Competence Training for Pharmacy)
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Open AccessArticle Are We Ready to Implement Competence-Based Teaching in Pharmacy Education in Poland?
Pharmacy 2017, 5(2), 25; doi:10.3390/pharmacy5020025
Received: 4 February 2017 / Revised: 15 April 2017 / Accepted: 3 May 2017 / Published: 9 May 2017
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Abstract
Pharmacists in Poland are responsible for the dispensing and quality control of pharmaceuticals. The education process in pharmacy is regulated and monitored at the national level. Pharmacy education at Jagiellonian University is organized in a traditional way based on input and content teaching.
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Pharmacists in Poland are responsible for the dispensing and quality control of pharmaceuticals. The education process in pharmacy is regulated and monitored at the national level. Pharmacy education at Jagiellonian University is organized in a traditional way based on input and content teaching. The aim of the study was to determinate whether the Jagiellonian University curriculum in the Pharmacy program meets the criteria of the European Competence Framework. The mapping of the intended curriculum was done by four academic teachers. The qualitative and quantitative analysis of the distribution of the European Competence Framework among a group of courses and study years was done. We observed that most of the personal competencies are offered to students in their senior years, while the patient care competencies are distributed equally during the cycle of the study, and only some of them are overrepresented at the senior years. We need a legislation change at the national level as well as organizational and mental change at the university level to move from learning outcome-based pharmacy education to competence-based. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Competence Training for Pharmacy)
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Open AccessArticle A Comparison of Parametric and Non-Parametric Methods Applied to a Likert Scale
Pharmacy 2017, 5(2), 26; doi:10.3390/pharmacy5020026
Received: 13 January 2017 / Revised: 8 May 2017 / Accepted: 8 May 2017 / Published: 10 May 2017
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Abstract
A trenchant and passionate dispute over the use of parametric versus non-parametric methods for the analysis of Likert scale ordinal data has raged for the past eight decades. The answer is not a simple “yes” or “no” but is related to hypotheses, objectives,
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A trenchant and passionate dispute over the use of parametric versus non-parametric methods for the analysis of Likert scale ordinal data has raged for the past eight decades. The answer is not a simple “yes” or “no” but is related to hypotheses, objectives, risks, and paradigms. In this paper, we took a pragmatic approach. We applied both types of methods to the analysis of actual Likert data on responses from different professional subgroups of European pharmacists regarding competencies for practice. Results obtained show that with “large” (>15) numbers of responses and similar (but clearly not normal) distributions from different subgroups, parametric and non-parametric analyses give in almost all cases the same significant or non-significant results for inter-subgroup comparisons. Parametric methods were more discriminant in the cases of non-similar conclusions. Considering that the largest differences in opinions occurred in the upper part of the 4-point Likert scale (ranks 3 “very important” and 4 “essential”), a “score analysis” based on this part of the data was undertaken. This transformation of the ordinal Likert data into binary scores produced a graphical representation that was visually easier to understand as differences were accentuated. In conclusion, in this case of Likert ordinal data with high response rates, restraining the analysis to non-parametric methods leads to a loss of information. The addition of parametric methods, graphical analysis, analysis of subsets, and transformation of data leads to more in-depth analyses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Competence Training for Pharmacy)
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Open AccessArticle Pharmacist Intervention Program at Different Rent Levels of Geriatric Healthcare
Pharmacy 2017, 5(2), 27; doi:10.3390/pharmacy5020027
Received: 7 March 2017 / Revised: 22 April 2017 / Accepted: 18 May 2017 / Published: 19 May 2017
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Abstract
As a pharmacy service giving pharmaceutical care at different levels of health care for elderly people, we needed a standardization procedure for recording and evaluating pharmacists’ interventions. Our objective was to homogenize pharmacist interventions; to know physicians’ acceptance of our recommendations, as well
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As a pharmacy service giving pharmaceutical care at different levels of health care for elderly people, we needed a standardization procedure for recording and evaluating pharmacists’ interventions. Our objective was to homogenize pharmacist interventions; to know physicians’ acceptance of our recommendations, as well as the most prevalent drug related problems (DRP); and the impact of the pharmacists’ interventions. To achieve this goal we conducted a one year prospective study at two levels of health care: 176 nursing homes (EAR) (8828 patients) and 2 long-term and subacute care hospitals (HSS) (268 beds). Pharmacists’ interventions were recorded using the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists classification as the basis. Frequency of the different DRP and the level of response and acceptance on the part of physicians was determined. The Medication Appropriateness Index (MAI) was used to evaluate the impact of the interventions on the prescription quality. Patients’ mean age was 84.2 (EAR) and 80.7 (HSS), and in both cases, polypharmacy ≥ 9 drugs was around 63–69%. There were 4073 interventions done in EAR and 2560 in HSS. Level of response: 44% (EAR), 79% (HSS); degree of acceptance of the recommendations: 84% (EAR), 72% (HSS). Most frequent DRP: inappropriate dose, length of therapy, omissions, and financial impact. Drugs for the nervous system are those with the most DRP. MAI values/medication improved from 4.4 to 2.7 (EAR) and 3.8 to 1.7 (HSS). A normalized way of managing pharmacists’ interventions for different health care levels has been established. We are on the way to increasing collaborative work with physicians and we know which DRPs are most prevalent. Full article
Open AccessArticle Competence-Based Curricula in the Context of Bologna and EU Higher Education Policy
Pharmacy 2017, 5(2), 17; doi:10.3390/pharmacy5020017
Received: 16 January 2017 / Revised: 21 March 2017 / Accepted: 23 March 2017 / Published: 26 March 2017
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Abstract
At the turn of the century European higher education policy became twin-track. The Bologna Process was launched and ran alongside developments in European legislation. Both tracks displayed a preoccupation with competences, in relation both to citizenship and to labour market needs. Scrutiny of
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At the turn of the century European higher education policy became twin-track. The Bologna Process was launched and ran alongside developments in European legislation. Both tracks displayed a preoccupation with competences, in relation both to citizenship and to labour market needs. Scrutiny of important policy texts (Key Competences, the European Qualifications Framework, ECTS, the Bologna three-cycle degree structure) shows that ‘competence’ has never been given a precise and secure definition. Only very recently has the term entered the discourse of EU legislation on the recognition of professional qualifications. Current work on competence-based curricula in sectoral professions, including pharmacy, has helped bring the two policy tracks into closer alignment. The examples of competences identified in specific professional contexts can assist EU and Bologna policy-makers as they confront future challenges. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Competence Training for Pharmacy)
Open AccessArticle The Implementation of Pharmacy Competence Teaching in Estonia
Pharmacy 2017, 5(2), 18; doi:10.3390/pharmacy5020018
Received: 22 January 2017 / Revised: 16 March 2017 / Accepted: 27 March 2017 / Published: 31 March 2017
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Abstract
Background: The PHAR-QA, “Quality Assurance in European Pharmacy Education and Training”, project has produced the European Pharmacy Competence Framework (EPCF). The aim of this study was to evaluate the existing pharmacy programme at the University of Tartu, using the EPCF. Methods: A qualitative
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Background: The PHAR-QA, “Quality Assurance in European Pharmacy Education and Training”, project has produced the European Pharmacy Competence Framework (EPCF). The aim of this study was to evaluate the existing pharmacy programme at the University of Tartu, using the EPCF. Methods: A qualitative assessment of the pharmacy programme by a convenience sample (n = 14) representing different pharmacy stakeholders in Estonia. EPCF competency levels were determined by using a five-point scale tool adopted from the Dutch competency standards framework. Mean scores of competency levels given by academia and other pharmacy stakeholders were compared. Results: Medical and social sciences, pharmaceutical technology, and pharmacy internship were more frequent subject areas contributing to EPCF competencies. In almost all domains, the competency level was seen higher by academia than by other pharmacy stakeholders. Despite on-board theoretical knowledge, the competency level at graduation could be insufficient for independent professional practice. Other pharmacy stakeholders would improve practical implementation of theoretical knowledge, especially to increase patient care competencies. Conclusions: The EPCF was utilized to evaluate professional competencies of entry-level pharmacists who have completed a traditional pharmacy curriculum. More efficient training methods and involvement of practicing specialists were suggested to reduce the gaps of the existing pharmacy programme. Applicability of competence teaching in Estonia requires more research and collaborative communication within the pharmacy sector. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Competence Training for Pharmacy)
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Open AccessArticle Clinical Outcomes Used in Clinical Pharmacy Intervention Studies in Secondary Care
Pharmacy 2017, 5(2), 28; doi:10.3390/pharmacy5020028
Received: 10 March 2017 / Revised: 30 April 2017 / Accepted: 15 May 2017 / Published: 20 May 2017
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Abstract
The objective was to investigate type, frequency and result of clinical outcomes used in studies to assess the effect of clinical pharmacy interventions in inpatient care. The literature search using Pubmed.gov was performed for the period up to 2013 using the search phrases:
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The objective was to investigate type, frequency and result of clinical outcomes used in studies to assess the effect of clinical pharmacy interventions in inpatient care. The literature search using Pubmed.gov was performed for the period up to 2013 using the search phrases: “Intervention(s)” and “pharmacist(s)” and “controlled” and “outcome(s)” or “effect(s)”. Primary research studies in English of controlled, clinical pharmacy intervention studies, including outcome evaluation, were selected. Titles, abstracts and full-text papers were assessed individually by two reviewers, and inclusion was determined by consensus. In total, 37 publications were included in the review. The publications presented similar intervention elements but differed in study design. A large variety of outcome measures (135) had been used to evaluate the effect of the interventions; most frequently clinical measures/assessments by physician and health care service use. No apparent pattern was established among primary outcome measures with significant effect in favour of the intervention, but positive effect was most frequently related to studies that included power calculations and sufficient inclusion of patients (73% vs. 25%). This review emphasizes the importance of considering the relevance of outcomes selected to assess clinical pharmacy interventions and the importance of conducting a proper power calculation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Competence-Based Pharmacy Education in the University of Helsinki
Pharmacy 2017, 5(2), 29; doi:10.3390/pharmacy5020029
Received: 16 January 2017 / Revised: 4 May 2017 / Accepted: 17 May 2017 / Published: 1 June 2017
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Abstract
In order to meet the expectations to act as an expert in the health care profession, it is of utmost importance that pharmacy education creates knowledge and skills needed in today’s working life. Thus, the planning of the curriculum should be based on
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In order to meet the expectations to act as an expert in the health care profession, it is of utmost importance that pharmacy education creates knowledge and skills needed in today’s working life. Thus, the planning of the curriculum should be based on relevant and up-to-date learning outcomes. In the University of Helsinki, a university wide curriculum reform called ‘the Big Wheel’ was launched in 2015. After the reform, the basic degrees of the university are two-cycle (Bachelor–Master) and competence-based, where the learning outcomes form a solid basis for the curriculum goals and implementation. In the Faculty of Pharmacy, this curriculum reform was conducted in two phases during 2012–2016. The construction of the curriculum was based on the most relevant learning outcomes concerning working life via high quality first (Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy) and second (Master of Science in Pharmacy) cycle degree programs. The reform was kicked off by interviewing all the relevant stakeholders: students, teachers, and pharmacists/experts in all the working life sectors of pharmacy. Based on these interviews, the intended learning outcomes of the Pharmacy degree programs were defined including both subject/contents-related and generic skills. The curriculum design was based on the principles of constructive alignment and new structures and methods were applied in order to foster the implementation of the learning outcomes. During the process, it became evident that a competence-based curriculum can be created only in close co-operation with the stakeholders, including teachers and students. Well-structured and facilitated co-operation amongst the teachers enabled the development of many new and innovative teaching practices. The European Union funded PHAR-QA project provided, at the same time, a highly relevant framework to compare the curriculum development in Helsinki against Europe-wide definitions of competences and learning outcomes in pharmacy education. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Competence Training for Pharmacy)
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Review

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Open AccessReview Pain Assessment of Elderly Patients with Cognitive Impairment in the Emergency Department: Implications for Pain Management—A Narrative Review of Current Practices
Pharmacy 2017, 5(2), 30; doi:10.3390/pharmacy5020030
Received: 9 March 2017 / Revised: 5 May 2017 / Accepted: 26 May 2017 / Published: 1 June 2017
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Abstract
Elderly people are susceptible to both falls and cognitive impairment making them a particularly vulnerable group of patients when it comes to pain assessment and management in the emergency department (ED). Pain assessment is often difficult in patients who present to the ED
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Elderly people are susceptible to both falls and cognitive impairment making them a particularly vulnerable group of patients when it comes to pain assessment and management in the emergency department (ED). Pain assessment is often difficult in patients who present to the ED with a cognitive impairment as they are frequently unable to self-report their level of pain, which can have a negative impact on pain management. This paper aims to review how cognitive impairment influences pain assessment in elderly adults who present to the ED with an injury due to a fall. A literature search of EMBASE, ProQuest, PubMed, Science Direct, SciFinder and the Curtin University Library database was conducted using keyword searches to generate lists of articles which were then screened for relevance by title and then abstract to give a final list of articles for full-text review. Further articles were identified by snowballing from the reference lists of the full-text articles. The literature reports that ED staff commonly use visual or verbal analogue scales to assess pain, but resort to their own intuition or physiological parameters rather than using standardised observational pain assessment tools when self-report of pain is not attainable due to cognitive impairment. While studies have found that the use of pain assessment tools improves the recognition and management of pain, pain scores are often not recorded for elderly patients with a cognitive impairment in the ED, leading to poorer pain management in this patient group in terms of time to analgesic administration and the use of strong opioids. All healthcare professionals involved in the care of such patients, including pharmacists, need to be aware of this and strive to ensure analgesic use is guided by appropriate and accurate pain assessment in the ED. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Services Research in the Use of Medicines)
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Open AccessReview Investigating the Relative Significance of Drug-Related Problem Categories
Pharmacy 2017, 5(2), 31; doi:10.3390/pharmacy5020031
Received: 14 March 2017 / Revised: 24 April 2017 / Accepted: 6 June 2017 / Published: 9 June 2017
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Abstract
The aim of the review was to investigate whether an assessment of clinical significance can be related to specific drug-related problems (DRPs) and hence may assist in prioritizing individual categories of DRP categorization systems. The literature search using Google Scholar was performed for
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The aim of the review was to investigate whether an assessment of clinical significance can be related to specific drug-related problems (DRPs) and hence may assist in prioritizing individual categories of DRP categorization systems. The literature search using Google Scholar was performed for the period 1990 to 2013 and comprised primary research studies of clinical pharmacy interventions including DRP and clinical significance assessments. Two reviewers assessed the titles, abstracts, and full-text papers individually, and inclusion was determined by consensus. A total of 27 unique publications were included in the review. They had been conducted in 14 different countries and reported a large range of DRPs (71–5948). Five existing DRP categorisation systems were frequently used, and two methods employed to assess clinical significance were frequently reported. The present review could not establish a consistent relation between the DRP categories and the level of clinical significance. However, the categories “ADR” and possibly “Drug interaction” were often associated with an assessed high clinical significance, albeit they were infrequently identified in the studies. Hence, clinical significance assessments do not seem to be useful in prioritizing individual DRPs in the DRP categorization systems. Consequently, it may be necessary to reconsider our current approach for evaluating DRPs. Full article
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Open AccessReview The Production of the PHAR-QA Competence Framework
Pharmacy 2017, 5(2), 19; doi:10.3390/pharmacy5020019
Received: 16 January 2017 / Revised: 14 March 2017 / Accepted: 27 March 2017 / Published: 1 April 2017
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Abstract
This article describes the background and methodology of the PHAR-QA (Quality Assurance in European Pharmacy Education and Training) project that produced a competence framework for pharmacy education and practice in the EU. In order to produce a harmonized competence framework that could be
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This article describes the background and methodology of the PHAR-QA (Quality Assurance in European Pharmacy Education and Training) project that produced a competence framework for pharmacy education and practice in the EU. In order to produce a harmonized competence framework that could be accepted within the EU situation, we developed a two-stage Delphi process centred on two expert panels. A small panel of academics produced the competence framework that was then validated by the rankings of a large panel consisting of representatives of the EU pharmacy community. The main aspects of this process are developed in this article. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Competence Training for Pharmacy)
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Open AccessOpinion Developing Professional Identity in Undergraduate Pharmacy Students: A Role for Self-Determination Theory
Pharmacy 2017, 5(2), 16; doi:10.3390/pharmacy5020016
Received: 8 February 2017 / Revised: 10 March 2017 / Accepted: 21 March 2017 / Published: 24 March 2017
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Abstract
Professional identity development, seen as essential in the transition from student to professional, needs to be owned by the universities in order to ensure a workforce appropriately prepared to provide global health care in the future. The development of professional identity involves a
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Professional identity development, seen as essential in the transition from student to professional, needs to be owned by the universities in order to ensure a workforce appropriately prepared to provide global health care in the future. The development of professional identity involves a focus on who the student is becoming, as well as what they know or can do, and requires authentic learning experiences such as practice exposure and interaction with pharmacist role models. This article examines conceptual frameworks aligned with professional identity development and will explore the role for self-determination theory (SDT) in pharmacy professional education. SDT explains the concepts of competence, relatedness and autonomy and the part they play in producing highly motivated individuals, leading to the development of one’s sense of self. Providing support for students in these three critical areas may, in accordance with the tenets of SDT, have the potential to increase motivation levels and their sense of professional identity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Pharmacy Education and Student / Practitioner Training)
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