Expanding Pharmacists’ Role in Primary Care Setting among Rural and Low-Income Communities

A special issue of Pharmacy (ISSN 2226-4787).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 August 2023) | Viewed by 5612

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
College of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences, Institute of Public Health, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, Tallahassee, FL 32307, USA
Interests: pharmacy; improving health outcomes in patients with cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease; improve transition of care in health care systems

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

It is well recognized that primary care services can be a means to improve health outcomes and decrease unnecessary health care utilization. Yet, access to high-quality primary services by low-income, rural or underserved populations is limited in the current healthcare landscape.

Pharmacists play a significant role in providing comprehensive medication therapy management, targeted chronic disease management, and improved medication adherence. Despite pharmacist interventions being shown to improve outcomes and access to care among the sub-population of low-income, rural or underserved populations. Nonetheless, pharmacists are rarely integrated into a primary care setting.

With the integration of telehealth services, there are limited data on how the role of a pharmacist is uniquely designed to improve access to care and outcomes among the sub-population of low-income, rural or underserved population.

This Special Issue of Pharmacy is inviting contributions from clinicians in all settings to address advances in the pharmacist’s role in the provision of telehealth services among low income, rural or underserved communities. This may include any of the following with pharmacists involved in the following:

  • Ambulatory settings
  • Healthcare system
  • Other research topics: trials involving pharmacists as part of the primary care team serving low-income or underserved populations; observational studies; retrospective studies; expert opinions on pharmacists’ roles in primary care settings; narrative reviews; systematic reviews; meta-analysis reviews; case studies; and other related topics

Prof. Dr. Arinze Okere
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • primary care
  • ambulatory care
  • pharmacist
  • low-income population
  • underserved communities

Published Papers (3 papers)

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13 pages, 281 KiB  
Article
From Identity to Ambugity: Exploring Interprofessional Collaboration Opportunities for Pharmacists in Rural and Remote Australia
by Selina Taylor, Alannah Franich, Sophie Jones and Beverley D. Glass
Pharmacy 2023, 11(2), 77; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy11020077 - 20 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1295
Abstract
Rural and remote populations are predisposed to poorer health outcomes, largely associated with limited access to health services and health professionals. This disparity provides an opportunity for health professionals to work collaboratively in interdisciplinary teams to deliver improved health outcomes for rural and [...] Read more.
Rural and remote populations are predisposed to poorer health outcomes, largely associated with limited access to health services and health professionals. This disparity provides an opportunity for health professionals to work collaboratively in interdisciplinary teams to deliver improved health outcomes for rural and remote communities. This study aims to explore exercise physiologist and podiatrist perceptions of interprofessional practice opportunities with pharmacists. Role theory provided a framework for this qualitative study. Interviews were conducted, recorded, transcribed, and thematically analysed according to the constructs of role theory (role identity, role sufficiency, role overload, role conflict, and role ambiguity). The perceptions of participants varied, largely due to the lack of understanding of the role and scope of the practice of a pharmacist. Participants acknowledged and adopted a flexible approach to the way in which they delivered health services to meet the needs of the community. They also described a more “generalist” approach to care, owing to the high prevalence of disease and disease complexity, along with a lack of staffing and resources. The potential for increased interprofessional collaboration was supported and identified as a strategy to manage significant workloads and provide improved patient healthcare. The application of role theory to this qualitative study provides insight into perceptions of interprofessional practice that may inform future development of remote practice models of care. Full article

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13 pages, 8268 KiB  
Project Report
Descriptive Report of a Pharmacist-Directed Preconception Care Outreach Program in a Rural Maternity Care Desert
by Natalie DiPietro Mager
Pharmacy 2023, 11(6), 176; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy11060176 - 10 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1446
Abstract
Preconception care is the prevention and management of biomedical, behavioral, and social risk factors to improve pregnancy outcomes and overall health for reproductive-age patients. A community-based pharmacist-directed preconception care outreach program was developed for women ages 18–45 years living in a rural maternity [...] Read more.
Preconception care is the prevention and management of biomedical, behavioral, and social risk factors to improve pregnancy outcomes and overall health for reproductive-age patients. A community-based pharmacist-directed preconception care outreach program was developed for women ages 18–45 years living in a rural maternity care desert to help them identify potential health risks and provide them with the needed education, counseling, or referrals to address these risks. Supervised student pharmacists, pharmacy practice residents, and pharmacy faculty from a local University collaborated to provide this program at four community events in conjunction with a mobile health clinic. A summative evaluation was performed after the events concluded, modeled after the RE-AIM framework. One hundred and forty-one women were served by the outreach program. Nearly 98% reported at least one preconception health risk, and 45% reported a barrier preventing them from being able to have an appointment with a physician in the last year. The outreach program was feasible to implement and can be adapted to different settings. Pharmacist-directed outreach programs in rural communities may benefit patients who are not receiving or do not have access to such care in traditional healthcare settings. Full article
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8 pages, 229 KiB  
Commentary
Suicide Prevention in Nigeria: Can Community Pharmacists Have a Role?
by Somto Chike-Obuekwe, Nicola J. Gray and Hayley C. Gorton
Pharmacy 2022, 10(5), 109; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy10050109 - 02 Sep 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2017
Abstract
Suicide is a global public health problem and is among the leading causes of death worldwide. Over 700,000 people die by suicide globally each year, affecting all ages, genders, and regions. Community pharmacists are easily accessible and trusted frontline healthcare professionals. They provide [...] Read more.
Suicide is a global public health problem and is among the leading causes of death worldwide. Over 700,000 people die by suicide globally each year, affecting all ages, genders, and regions. Community pharmacists are easily accessible and trusted frontline healthcare professionals. They provide pharmaceutical care to the community, yet their role is still yet to be fully optimised. With the expanding role of community pharmacists and their constant accessibility to the local population, they could have a potential role in suicide prevention and awareness in Nigeria through restriction of means, signposting to services, and conversations with patients built on trusting relationships. In this commentary, we review the literature on the involvement of community pharmacists in suicide prevention. In addition, we discuss the potential role of community pharmacists in Nigeria through establishing trusting relationships with patients, clinical counselling, and medication gatekeeping, given the existing gaps in knowledge and awareness of suicide prevention within community settings. This commentary also outlines potential barriers and solutions, making suggestions for future research. Full article
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