Collaborative prescribing: A qualitative exploration of a role for pharmacists in mental health
MetadataShow full item record
Background Collaborative prescribing has been proposed as an extension of practice for advanced pharmacist practitioners. A lack of research investigating how pharmacists might be most effective as prescribers in mental health was identified. Objective To explore health professionals' and consumers' attitudes and beliefs that relate to the role of specialist mental health pharmacists working as collaborative prescribers within their advanced scope of practice in secondary care. Methods Semistructured interviews were conducted with key informants in the New Zealand mental health sector. Participants were selected via a purposive sampling method, including health professionals (n = 9) and consumers (n = 3). NVivo software was used to analyze data, using a thematic analysis approach to develop a series of key themes from the interviews. Common themes were extracted, which were used to gather results and draw conclusions. Results The key findings include a widespread acknowledgment of the role of specialist pharmacists as collaborative prescribers in mental health and as integral members of the multidisciplinary team; however, consumers were unaware of pharmacists' role in secondary care. The role was seen to extend current practice particularly in medication management after assessment and diagnosis by a medical practitioner. Concerns regarding demonstrating competence, practitioner role/boundary confusion, insufficient training and workforce development, hesitancy by pharmacists to extend role, consumer awareness, and public perception of the traditional pharmacist role were identified. Solutions discussed included education by the profession; relationship building, training, and robust competency assessments; and a structured framework for implementing a collaborative prescribing model. Conclusions This study suggests there was recognition and acceptance of the role that specialist pharmacist practitioners could play in contributing to the care of mental health consumers as collaborative prescribers; their medication expertise being regarded highly. Further research is necessary to investigate how current resource constraints will allow for collaborative prescribing to be implemented within the context of mental health practice.
Research in Social and Administrative Pharmacy
Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified