Background: Schools of Pharmacy are important contributors to pharmacy practice research and several have created research centers focusing on this area.
Objectives: To identify and characterize pharmacy practice research centers in the United States.
Methods: A comprehensive list of research centers was gathered using three sources: 1) websites of Schools of Pharmacy obtained from the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy website; 2) Google; and 3) department chairs. Two independent reviewers applied the following exclusion criteria to the list: 1) no affiliation with a School of Pharmacy; 2) no focus on research; 3) not an independent unit recognized at the school or university levels; and 4) research not focused on advancing pharmacy practice. Inter-rater reliability was calculated using a prevalence-adjusted bias-adjusted kappa (PABAK). A questionnaire was developed comprising 24 questions grouped into three sections - overall structure of the center, research and educational activities - and disseminated through center directors. Descriptive statistics of survey data were obtained.
Results: Twenty centers across 20 different states were identified. Survey response rate was 100%. Three-quarters of centers were at public institutions and half had an advisory board. Full-time equivalents ranged from 0.2 to 21. Areas of research primarily focused on medication and disease-state management and interprofessional collaboration in the ambulatory/outpatient setting. Few centers (35%) conducted experimental studies. Despite 85% centers conducting multi-site studies, the median number of sites engaged was low (range 1-3). Seven centers received over USD 1 million in total funding since inception. A majority of centers (90%) offered educational activities for both students and professionals.
Conclusions: Pharmacy practice research centers are relatively small, received low funding and few conduct multi-site experimental studies. Collaboration among centers could be a means to overcome these issues.
Keywords: Faculty; Pharmacy [MeSH]; Pharmacy research [MeSH]; Research [MeSH]; Schools; United States [MeSH].
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