Bringing clinical pharmacogenomics information to pharmacists: A qualitative study of information needs and resource requirements

Int J Med Inform. 2016 Feb;86:54-61. doi: 10.1016/j.ijmedinf.2015.11.015. Epub 2015 Nov 30.


Introduction: As key experts in supporting medication-decision making, pharmacists are well-positioned to support the incorporation of pharmacogenomics into clinical care. However, there has been little study to date of pharmacists' information needs regarding pharmacogenomics. Understanding those needs is critical to design information resources that help pharmacists effectively apply pharmacogenomics information.

Objectives: We sought to understand the pharmacogenomics information needs and resource requirements of pharmacists.

Methods: We conducted qualitative inquiries with 14 pharmacists representing 6 clinical environments, and used the results of those inquiries to develop a model of pharmacists' pharmacogenomics information needs and resource requirements.

Results: The inquiries identified 36 pharmacogenomics-specific and pharmacogenomics-related information needs that fit into four information needs themes: background information, patient information, medication information, and guidance information. The results of the inquiries informed a model of pharmacists' pharmacogenomics resource requirements, with 3 themes: structure of the resource, perceptions of the resource, and perceptions of the information.

Conclusion: Responses suggest that pharmacists anticipate an imminently growing role for pharmacogenomics in their practice. Participants value information from trust-worthy resources like FDA product labels, but struggle to find relevant information quickly in labels. Specific information needs include clinically relevant guidance about genotypes, phenotypes, and how to care for their patients with known genotypes. Information resources supporting the goal of incorporating complicated genetic information into medication decision-making goals should be well-designed and trustworthy.

Keywords: Genomics; Information needs; Needs assessment; Pharmacists; Pharmacogenomics; Qualitative inquiry.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Education, Pharmacy, Continuing
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medical Informatics*
  • Needs Assessment*
  • Patient Care
  • Perception
  • Pharmacists / psychology*
  • Pharmacogenetics / education*
  • Professional Role
  • Qualitative Research*