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Community pharmacy COPD services: what do researchers and policy makers need to know?

Authors Twigg MJ, Wright DJ

Received 13 October 2016

Accepted for publication 2 December 2016

Published 7 February 2017 Volume 2017:6 Pages 53—59


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Colin Mak

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Professor Jonathan Ling

Michael J Twigg, David J Wright

School of Pharmacy, University of East Anglia, Norwich Research Park, Norwich, UK

Abstract: COPD is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality across the world and is responsible for a disproportionate use of health care resources. It is a progressive condition that is largely caused by smoking. Identification of early stage COPD provides an opportunity for interventions, such as smoking cessation, which prevent its progression. Once diagnosed, ongoing support services potentially provide an opportunity to assist the patient in managing their condition and working more closely with the rest of the primary care team. While there are a number of robust studies which have demonstrated the role which pharmacists could undertake to identify and prevent disease progression, adoption of such services is currently limited. As a service that would seem to be appropriate for adoption in all societies where smoking is prevalent, we have performed a review of reported approaches that have been used when setting up and evaluating such services, and therefore aim to inform researchers and policy makers in other countries on how best to proceed. Implementation science has been used to further contextualize the findings of the review in terms of components that are likely to enhance the likelihood of implementation. With reference to screening services, we have made clear recommendations as to the identification of patients, structure and smoking cessation elements of the program. Further work needs to be undertaken by policy makers to determine the approaches that can be used to motivate pharmacists to provide this service. In terms of ongoing support services, there is some evidence to suggest that these would be effective and cost-effective to the health service in which they are implemented. However, the capability, opportunity and motivation of pharmacists to provide these, more complex, services need to be the focus for researchers before implementation by policy makers.

Keywords: COPD, community pharmacy, screening, spirometry, smoking cessation

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