Adults with asthma and pharmacist-led medication adherence support in general practice
Medication non-adherence limits the efficacy of asthma treatment. A new healthcare model (clinical pharmacist consultations in general practice) is being implemented to support medication use in people with asthma. However, detailed qualitative work with adults with asthma surrounding this new healthcare model is currently lacking. The aim of this study was to explore the perspectives of adults with asthma on this healthcare model to identify its barriers and enablers.
Participants (n = 12) were adults with asthma and a preventer inhaler (inhaled corticosteroid), living in the United Kingdom (UK). They were recruited through Asthma UK, hospitals, and social media. Upon recruitment, they were e-mailed a description of the pharmacist-led healthcare model. Through semi-structured telephone interviews, participants discussed their general experiences with pharmacists, and gave feedback on the pharmacist-led healthcare model. Data was analysed using thematic analysis.
Barriers of the healthcare model included perceptions of the pharmacist’s role and concerns about commercialism. Participants often did not differentiate between clinical and community pharmacists. They viewed pharmacists as dispensers and were sceptical of the “commercial interests” of large pharmacy chains. However, those with multiple medications (polypharmacy) and/or previous positive experiences with pharmacists were more supportive. They believed pharmacist consultations would “free-up” general practitioners, but were hesitant about expanding them to include other conditions in case of decreased access for people with asthma.
Perceptions of pharmacists, largely influenced by community pharmacy, transfer onto pharmacists in general practice. Changing the healthcare setting (community pharmacy to general practice) did not address the concerns participants had about pharmacist-led care. To ensure the effective implementation of this healthcare model, these perceptions need to be addressed.