Background: In Sweden there has been limited work investigating the integration and nature of collaborative relationships between pharmacists and other healthcare practitioners.

Objective: To explore the working relationships of physicians, nurses and ward-based pharmacists in a rural hospital after the introduction of a clinical pharmacy service. Setting General medical ward in a rural hospital in northern Sweden.

Method: Mixed methods involving face-to-face semi-structured interviews with nurses, physicians and pharmacists, and a physician survey using the Physician-Pharmacist Collaboration Index to measure the extent of physician-reported collaborative working relationships.

Main outcome measure: Perceptions about collaborative working relationships between physician, nurses and pharmacists.

Results: All physicians (n = 9) who interacted with the clinical pharmacists completed the survey. The mean total score was 78.6 ± 4.7, total 92 (higher scores represent a more advanced relationship). Mean domain scores were highest for relationship initiation (13.0 ± 1.3, total 15), and trustworthiness (38.9 ± 3.4, total 42), followed by role specification (26.3 ± 2.6, total 30). The interviews (with nurses and physicians), showed how communication, collaboration and joint knowledge-exchange in the intervention changed and developed over time.

Conclusion: This study provides new insights into collaborative working relationships from the perspectives of physicians and nurses. The Physician-Pharmacist Collaboration Index scores suggest that physicians felt that clinical pharmacists were active in providing patient care; could be trusted to follow up on recommendations; and were credible. The interviews suggest that the team-based intervention provided good conditions for creating new ways to work to achieve commitment to professional working relationships.


clinical pharmacy, collaboration, nurses, physicians, Sweden

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