Perceptions of UK Community Pharmacists on Current Consultation Skills and Motivational Interviewing as a Consultation Approach: A Qualitative Study.

Affiliation

School of Pharmacy, University of Birmingham, Birmingham B15 2TT, UK. [Email]

Abstract

OBJECTIVE : Community pharmacists' roles in the UK are evolving; pharmacists currently deliver a wider range of clinical services with more patient-focused care. The objectives of this study were (i) to investigate UK community pharmacists' views on their current communication skills in pharmacist-patient facing consultations, and (ii) to explore the perceptions of UK community pharmacists towards the application of motivational interviewing (MI) in a pharmacy consultation. In-depth qualitative face-to-face, semi-structured interviews with ten practicing community pharmacists were carried out, ranging from 30-60 minutes in length. The interviews were audio recorded, transcribed verbatim and thematic analysis was employed. Four themes emerged from the data: (1) the fight for time; (2) wrestling with consultation styles; (3) a personal communication evolution; and (4) unfamiliar but engaging motivational interviewing. These themes demonstrated the juxtaposition between the desire for patient-centred care and the pressures of managing broader dispensing work. Participants were critical of academic and continuous professional learning (CPD) training in communication skills and there was a strong recognition of the potential role of MI in promoting patient autonomy and outcomes. Participants recognized a few elements of MI techniques in their current consultations, but welcomed further training on behavioral change for effective consultations, expressing a desire for practical MI-specific training. Face-to-face CPD of consultation skills is needed to avoid the feeling of isolation among UK practicing pharmacists and rigidity in consultation delivery. Support for community pharmacists from other pharmacy staff could relieve current pressures and allow pharmacists time to develop and acquire effective skills for patient facing roles. Behavioural change consultation skills training for pharmacists could be an effective strategy to address these current challenges.

Keywords

behavioural consultations,communication skills,community pharmacists,consultation skills,motivational interviewing,

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