Investigating the medicines and pharmacy information needs of older palliative care patients and their carers receiving care from community pharmacies

Bennie, Marion and Corcoran, Emma Dunlop and Trundle, Janet and Mackay, Carolyn (2013) Investigating the medicines and pharmacy information needs of older palliative care patients and their carers receiving care from community pharmacies. European Journal of Palliative Care. (In Press)

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Abstract

• The pharmacist is increasingly recognised as the expert on medication by the multidisciplinary palliative care team. However, patients and their carers may be unaware of the pharmacist as a source of information about medication and may have limited knowledge of the services provided by community pharmacists. • Focus Groups interviews were conducted with a sample of patients and carers over the age of 55yrs. It was found that: (i) Patient information leaflets and the internet are commonly consulted for medicines information, but there is a preference for face to face interactions; (ii) there appears to be a lack of pro-active dissemination of information on the prescription dispensing process and limited knowledge of broader pharmacy services, which is often gained in an ad-hoc manner or as part of a critical event and unlikely to be integrated within any anticipatory care package. • Older palliative care patients and their carers have particular medicine and pharmacy information needs. The study outlines the type and nature of information required to support Community Pharmacists to better serve the needs of this client group.