“The strategies are the same, the problems may be different”: a qualitative study exploring the experiences of healthcare and service providers with medication therapy management for individuals with spinal cord injury/dysfunction
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BACKGROUND: Persons with spinal cord injury/dysfunction (SCI/D) often take multiple medications to treat their secondary complications and chronic conditions (multimorbidity). Multiple healthcare and service providers are often involved in care, which can result in increased risk of fragmentation of care. Optimal medication therapy management (MTM) is essential to ensure therapeutic benefit from medication regimens. However, little is known about the experiences of providers in supporting persons with SCI/D with MTM. METHODS: Telephone interviews were conducted to explore healthcare and service providers' experiences with MTM for persons with SCI/D. Participants were recruited through clinical organizations and researchers' personal contacts. Participants were purposefully selected for diversity in profession and were required to be English speaking and to have provided care to at least one person with SCI/D. The qualitative interviews followed a semi-structured interview guide. Data display matrices were used in a constant comparative process for descriptive and interpretive analysis. RESULTS: Thirty-two interviews were conducted from April to December 2018. Each profession had distinct views on their roles in facilitating MTM for persons with SCI/D, which aligned with their respective scopes of practice. Shared provider tasks included tailoring medications, providing education, and exploring medication alternatives. Most participants felt that the care they provided for persons with SCI/D was similar to the care that they provided to other patients, with some differences relating to the physical limitations and medical complexity associated with SCI/D. Five factors were identified that impacted participants' abilities to provide MTM for persons with SCI/D: patient self-management skills, provider knowledge and confidence, provider-patient relationships, interprofessional collaboration, and provider funding models including the use of technology-supported consultations. CONCLUSION: While participants described commonalities in the barriers and enablers associated with providing MTM to persons with SCI/D and other populations, there were unique considerations identified. These SCI/D-specific considerations resulted in recommendations for improvements in MTM for this population. Future research should include perspectives from persons with SCI/D.
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