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Pharmacists experience of and perspectives about recruiting patients into a community pharmacy asthma service trial

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-20, 17:57 authored by Bertilsson, E, Serhal, S, Emmerton, L, Bosnic-Anticevich, S, Krass, I, Bonnie BereznickiBonnie Bereznicki, Luke BereznickiLuke Bereznicki, Armour, C, Saini, B

Background: Research trials testing the impact of community pharmacy services require adequate and appropriate recruitment of patients by participating pharmacists, however, this step presents an ongoing challenge.

Objective: To identify factors affecting recruitment of patients in community pharmacies participating in a multi-center trial of a pharmacy asthma service in Australia (Pharmacy Trial Program – Asthma and Rhinitis Control (PTP-ARC).

Methods: The PTP-ARC protocol required identification and recruitment of seven eligible asthma patients per pharmacy. Pharmacists responsible for sites that failed to recruit or retain any patients into the PTP-ARC trial participated in a semi-structured telephone interview about their experiences with these elements of the trial. The interviews were recorded, transcribed and coded using QSR International's NVivo 11 software. The analysis was conducted with reference to the COM-B framework (Capability, Opportunity, Motivation).

Results: Pharmacists from 47 of 50 eligible pharmacies were interviewed. Seventeen factors were isolated and mapped to the COM-B framework. Psychological capability (recruitment hesitancy, research literacy and health literacy), physical capability (technological barriers, staffing issues and pharmacy busyness), physical opportunity (patient busyness, trial timing, study protocol, support and location), social opportunity (health literacy and supportive milieu), reflective motivation (incentive for participation, simplification) and automatic motivation (patient attitudes and pharmacist-felt experience) were factors affecting pharmacists' participation. Challenges identified included: issues with the software, unfamiliarity with research procedures generally (and specifically with the PTP-ARC protocols), the patients' lack of interest and pharmacists’ lack of time.

Conclusions: To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to focus on issues affecting patient recruitment into a pharmacy health services (asthma) trial in real time. To propel evidence-based trials towards practice implementation, user-friendly software, pharmacists’ training on research and patient-engagement and adequate remuneration to address pharmacist time issues need to be key foci for health services design and implementation research.


Department of Health (Cth)


Publication title

Research in Social and Administrative Pharmacy








School of Pharmacy and Pharmacology


Elsevier Inc.

Place of publication

United States

Rights statement

© 2020 Elsevier

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Allied health therapies (excl. mental health services)

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