Integration and differentiation: a conceptual model of general practitioner and community pharmacist collaboration

Res Social Adm Pharm. Jan-Feb 2012;8(1):36-46. doi: 10.1016/j.sapharm.2010.12.005. Epub 2011 Mar 31.

Abstract

Background: The drive for integrative systems and collaboration across organizations and professions involved in the provision of health and social care has led to the development of a number of scales and models that conceptualize collaborative behavior. Few models have captured the dynamics of the collaboration between community pharmacy and general medicine, 2 professional groups that are increasingly being encouraged to adopt more collaborative practices to improve patient care.

Objectives: This article presents a new model of collaboration derived from interviews with general practitioners (GPs) and community pharmacists in England involved in service provision that required some form of collaboration.

Methods: Qualitative interviews were conducted with purposive samples of 13 GPs and 18 community pharmacists involved in the provision of local pharmaceutical services pilots and 14 GPs and 13 community pharmacists involved in the provision of repeat dispensing.

Results: The model highlights key components of collaboration, including the importance of trust, communication, professional respect, and "knowing" each other. It is argued here that previous models fail to recognize the asymmetry and differentiation between GPs and community pharmacists, including differences in perception toward and importance assigned to trust and communication. GPs were found to adopt demarcation strategies toward community pharmacies and pharmacists, with independent pharmacies being favored over multiple chains and regular pharmacists favored over locum/sessional pharmacists. This differentiation was repeatedly highlighted by GPs and found to affect their ability or willingness to collaborate.

Conclusion: The model provides a foundation for the future development of strategy and research focused on the improvement or study of collaborative relationships between community pharmacy and general practice.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Communication
  • Cooperative Behavior*
  • General Practitioners / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Interprofessional Relations*
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Pharmacies
  • Pharmacists / psychology*
  • Trust