Article Title

Doctors' and nurses' perceptions of a ward-based pharmacist in rural northern Sweden


Background: This project is part of the prospective quasi experimental proof-of-concept investigation of clinical pharmacist intervention study to reduce drug-related problems among people admitted to a ward in a rural hospital in northern Sweden.

Objective: To explore doctors’ and nurses’ perceptions and expectations of having a ward-based pharmacist providing clinical pharmacy services.

Setting: Medical ward in a rural hospital in northern Sweden.

Method: Eighteen face-to-face semi-structured interviews were conducted with a purposive sample of doctors and nurses working on the ward where the clinical pharmacy service was due to be implemented. Semi-structured interviews were digitally recorded, transcribed and analysed using thematic analysis.

Main outcome measure: Perceptions and expectations of nurses and doctors.

Results: Doctors and nurses had limited experience of working with pharmacists. Most had a vague idea of what pharmacists can contribute within a ward setting. Participants, mainly nurses, suggested inventory and drug distribution roles, but few were aware of the pharmacists’ skills and clinical competence. Different views were expressed on whether the new clinical pharmacy service would have an impact on workload. However, most participants took a positive view of having a ward-based pharmacist.

Conclusion: This study provided an opportunity to explore doctors’ and nurses’ expectations of the role of clinical pharmacists before a clinical pharmacy service was implemented. To successfully implement a clinical pharmacy service, roles, clinical competence and responsibilities should be clearly described. Furthermore, it is important to focus on collaborative working relationships between doctors, nurses and pharmacists.


clinical pharmacy, doctors perceptions, nurses perceptions, rural health care, Sweden

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