Pharmacists’ performance in a telephone-based simulated patient study after a mental health capacity-building program
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BACKGROUND: The More Than Meds program was developed to enhance community pharmacy based services for people with mental illness. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the care of pharmacists who participated in this specific program using a telephone-based simulated patient with insomnia. METHODS: A trained actor used a simulated patient case scenario and telephoned pharmacists (i.e., intervention group pharmacists) and a control group of pharmacists approximately 6 months following training. Pharmacists were scored on their assessment of the patient and problem, guidance provided on both pharmacological and nonpharmacological care, communications, and overall quality. RESULTS: Sixty-three pharmacists (n = 29 intervention, n = 34 controls) were reached. Call duration was longer with intervention versus control group pharmacists [4.93 min (SD 2.3) vs. 4.00 min (SD 1.8)]. Medication recommendations were made by 76 and 100 % of intervention versus control pharmacists (p = 0.002), respectively. Intervention group pharmacists scored significantly higher on most components within communication and overall quality scores. Scores for assessing the patient, the problem, sleep, and medication supply were lower than expected for both groups. CONCLUSION: Intervention group pharmacists performed better than controls on several components of a telephone-based simulated patient scenario for insomnia following More Than Meds training. More research is needed regarding telephone consultations in pharmacy practice.
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