Physician beliefs and attitudes toward collaboration with community pharmacists

Res Social Adm Pharm. 2011 Sep;7(3):224-32. doi: 10.1016/j.sapharm.2010.07.003. Epub 2010 Oct 2.


Background: Collaboration between pharmacists and physicians in ambulatory care clinics has been shown to improve patient outcomes. Although collaborative working relationships (CWRs) between community pharmacists and physicians have been studied, the beliefs and attitudes of physicians toward collaborating with pharmacists in this setting have yet to be described. The Theory of Reasoned Action provides a model for studying collaborative behavior. Beliefs were defined in terms of the value and expected outcomes associated with collaborating with community pharmacists.

Objective: The purpose of this study was to describe the beliefs, attitudes, and intentions of office-based physicians toward collaborating with community pharmacists to help patients manage their medications.

Methods: A cross-sectional study of Michigan office-based physicians was conducted. A total of 1109 internists, pulmonologists, endocrinologists, and cardiologists were surveyed. CWR measures, beliefs, attitudes, and intentions to collaborate were measured using a mailed survey. Regression analysis identified beliefs relevant to intentions to collaborate.

Results: There were 332 usable surveys returned (30% response rate). Overall, physicians' beliefs and attitudes toward collaborating with community pharmacists were moderately strong. Physicians' beliefs that collaborating with a community pharmacist would result in improved medication adherence was the strongest predictor of attitude toward collaboration. The belief that collaboration with a pharmacist would result in improved prescribing was another significant predictor. The results also found attitude toward collaboration significantly predicted intention to collaborate.

Conclusions: Physicians' beliefs and attitudes play an important role in their intentions to collaborate with community pharmacists. The findings suggest a strategy that involves collaboration to improve medication adherence may be most effective.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Community Pharmacy Services
  • Cooperative Behavior
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Culture
  • Data Collection
  • Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions / prevention & control
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interprofessional Relations*
  • Male
  • Medication Adherence
  • Michigan
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Care / methods*
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations / economics
  • Pharmacies*
  • Pharmacists / psychology*
  • Physicians / psychology*
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians' / economics
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians' / organization & administration
  • Professional Role
  • Random Allocation


  • Pharmaceutical Preparations