Terminology, the importance of defining

Int J Clin Pharm. 2016 Jun;38(3):709-13. doi: 10.1007/s11096-016-0294-5. Epub 2016 Apr 12.


Multiple terms and definitions exist to describe specific aspects of pharmacy practice and service provision. This commentary explores the reasons for different interpretations of words and concepts in pharmaceutical care and pharmacy practice research. Reasons for this variation can be found in language, culture, profession and may also depend on developments over time. A list of words is provided where the authors think that currently multiple interpretations are possible. To make sure that the reader understands the essence, it seems imperative that authors include a definition of the topics that they actually study in their papers, and that they clearly cite existing definitions or refer to collections of definitions such as existing glossaries. It is important that presenters, authors and reviewers of pharmacy practice papers pay more attention to this aspect of describing studies.

Keywords: Pharmacy practice; Research; Terminology; Translation.

MeSH terms

  • Community Pharmacy Services
  • Humans
  • Pharmacy Research / standards*
  • Terminology as Topic*