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Int J Clin Pharm. 2019 Jun;41(3):728-733. doi: 10.1007/s11096-019-00812-8. Epub 2019 Apr 1.

Exploring physicians, nurses and ward-based pharmacists working relationships in a Swedish inpatient setting: a mixed methods study.

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Department of Education, Mid Sweden University, 851 70, Sundsvall, Sweden.
Department of Pharmacology and Clinical Neuroscience, Umeå University, 90187, Umeå, Sweden.
School of Medicine, The University of Notre Dame Australia, Sydney, NSW, Australia.


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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