The role of the community pharmacist in fulfilling information needs of patients starting oral antidiabetics

Egbert J.F. Lamberts, Marcel L. Bouvy, Rolf P. van Hulten

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26 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Community pharmacy is in the middle of a paradigm shift from provider of medication to provider of care around medication. Much of this care involves giving information to patients so as to maximize pharmacotherapy outcomes; however, this is not necessarily recognized by patients. The initiation of chronic medication for diseases, such as type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), arouses much uncertainty in patients, and it is not certain how information provision roles by pharmacists are viewed. Objectives: To obtain insight in the information needs of patients who have recently started treatment with oral antidiabetics and to investigate the opportunities for pharmacy regarding the provision of information for patients with T2DM. Methods: A qualitative study with both semistructured telephone interviews and patient focus group discussions was conducted. Individual patients' comments were categorized and used in a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) analysis exploring the role of the community pharmacist in the field of providing information at the moment of initiation of T2DM oral medication. Results: From interviews with 42 patients and 2 focus groups, discussions emerged that the general practitioner (GP) does not fulfill all information needs. For the pharmacist, there is an opportunity, as patients feel a need for information and like to discuss drug-related issues. SWOT analysis revealed main strengths of the pharmacy as " expertise" and " service and kindness." Together with more cooperation with GPs and nurse practitioners, these strengths give the pharmacist the opportunity to further develop pharmaceutical care activities. Conclusion: Pharmacists are challenged to increase their visibility as health care provider while keeping logistic service on a high level and improving cooperation with other health care providers. © 2010 Elsevier Inc.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)354-364
Number of pages11
JournalResearch in Social and Administrative Pharmacy
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1-Dec-2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Community pharmacy
  • Patients' information needs
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • antidiabetic agent
  • aged
  • article
  • clinical practice
  • female
  • general practitioner
  • human
  • information processing
  • male
  • methodology
  • middle aged
  • non insulin dependent diabetes mellitus
  • oral drug administration
  • organization and management
  • patient education
  • pharmacist
  • pharmacy
  • professional standard

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