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New Roles for Pharmacists in Community Mental Health Care: A Narrative Review

Research and Development Unit, Fundació Sant Joan de Déu, Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutic Chemistry, School of Pharmacy, Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona 08830, Spain
Faculty of Pharmacy, The University of Sydney, Sydney 2006, Australia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(10), 10967-10990;
Received: 16 July 2014 / Revised: 30 September 2014 / Accepted: 7 October 2014 / Published: 21 October 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health Care)
PDF [376 KB, uploaded 21 October 2014]


Medicines are a major treatment modality for many mental illnesses, and with the growing burden of mental disorders worldwide pharmacists are ideally positioned to play a greater role in supporting people with a mental illness. This narrative review aims to describe the evidence for pharmacist-delivered services in mental health care and address the barriers and facilitators to increasing the uptake of pharmacist services as part of the broader mental health care team. This narrative review is divided into three main sections: (1) the role of the pharmacist in mental health care in multidisciplinary teams and in supporting early detection of mental illness; (2) the pharmacists’ role in supporting quality use of medicines in medication review, strategies to improve medication adherence and antipsychotic polypharmacy, and shared decision making; and (3) barriers and facilitators to the implementation of mental health pharmacy services with a focus on organizational culture and mental health stigma. In the first section, the review presents new roles for pharmacists within multidisciplinary teams, such as in case conferencing or collaborative drug therapy management; and new roles that would benefit from increased pharmacist involvement, such as the early detection of mental health conditions, development of care plans and follow up of people with mental health problems. The second section describes the impact of medication review services and other pharmacist-led interventions designed to reduce inappropriate use of psychotropic medicines and improve medication adherence. Other new potential roles discussed include the management of antipsychotic polypharmacy and involvement in patient-centered care. Finally, barriers related to pharmacists’ attitudes, stigma and skills in the care of patients with mental health problems and barriers affecting pharmacist-physician collaboration are described, along with strategies to reduce mental health stigma. View Full-Text
Keywords: pharmacist; mental health care; quality use of medicines; community pharmacy; service implementation pharmacist; mental health care; quality use of medicines; community pharmacy; service implementation
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Rubio-Valera, M.; Chen, T.F.; O'Reilly, C.L. New Roles for Pharmacists in Community Mental Health Care: A Narrative Review. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11, 10967-10990.

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