Factors Associated with Patient Trust in the Pharmacy Team: Findings from a Mixed Method Study Involving Patients with Asthma & COPD

Patient Prefer Adherence. 2023 Dec 14:17:3391-3401. doi: 10.2147/PPA.S429969. eCollection 2023.

Abstract

Purpose: The pharmacy team has been shifting its role from primarily dispensing medications to providing patient-centred pharmaceutical care. Establishing a trust relation between the pharmacy team and their patients is fundamental for this new role. This study aimed to (i) identify the level of trust in the pharmacy team among patients with asthma and/or COPD, (ii) assess whether the level of trust patients have in pharmacists differs from their trust in pharmacy technicians, and (iii) identify factors that contribute to building trust in the pharmacy team.

Patients and methods: First, a focus group with six patients with asthma and/or COPD was conducted to explore which aspects they considered significant for establishing trust in the pharmacy team. Subsequently, these insights were used to develop an online questionnaire. A link to the online questionnaire was distributed among patients with asthma and/or COPD. Data were analysed using exploratory factor analyses to identify underlying constructs for trust. Regression analyses were conducted to evaluate whether these constructs affected trust (scale 1-10) in the pharmacy team.

Results: A total of 290 patients completed the questionnaire. On average, they rated their trust in the pharmacy team with a score of 7.4 out of 10 (SD: 1.5), almost identical to their trust in the pharmacist and pharmacy technician. Patient trust in pharmacy teams is influenced by their perception of engagement, expertise in medication-related matters, and effective communication.

Conclusion: Trust in the pharmacy team was observed as moderately high, indicating that there is room for improvement. Due to the changing role of the pharmacy team, its members should strive to enhance their patient-centred skills ensuring ongoing efforts to build and maintain trust with patients.

Keywords: community pharmacy; information and communication; patient-centred interaction; pharmacist expertise; pharmacy team’s engagement; trust in pharmacy team.

Grants and funding

This research was part of the On TRACk study that is funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development; ZonMw. Dossier number: 80-84800-98-18089.