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Does rural and urban community pharmacy practice differ? A narrative systematic review

Howarth, HD ORCID: 0000-0002-5994-2778, Peterson, GM ORCID: 0000-0002-6764-3882 and Jackson, SL 2019 , 'Does rural and urban community pharmacy practice differ? A narrative systematic review' , International Journal of Pharmacy Practice , pp. 1-10 , doi: 10.1111/ijpp.12567.

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Objectives: Anecdotal comparisons between rural and urban communitypharmacy practice have been frequently reported. Therefore, a narrative systematic review was conducted to examine the published international evidence comparing the nature of services provided from communitypharmacies in both settings. A comprehensive literature search was undertaken across four databases. The key criterion for inclusion was a comparison of practice, excluding dispensing and associated counselling. Definitionsof ‘rural’ were specific to the country and publication year.Key findings: The search yielded 3830 titles, from which 17 publications metthe inclusion criteria. The studies investigated current or proposed servicesand included the provision of pharmaceutical care, public health activitiesand prescribing. Rural customers were more willing to seek advice and talkedlonger to the pharmacist, but not always. There was limited evidence thatrural pharmacists provided more professional services and they appeared tohave better working relationships with prescribers. Many of the authors challenged the validity of their own results, suggesting that other confoundingfactors accounted for the observed differences. In general, the statistical analyses reported were basic, with multivariate analyses being uncommon. Therewas some evidence that rural pharmacists were seemingly more willing totake on new professional roles and deliver a higher level of service. However,this conclusion is based on a small number of studies, often with a limitednumber of respondents and simplistic data analyses. Further high-qualityresearch is required to ascertain and characterise any real differences betweenrural and urban settings in community pharmacy practice.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Howarth, HD and Peterson, GM and Jackson, SL
Keywords: community pharmacy, location, rural, urban, consumer attitudes, patient attitudes, professional practice, systematic review, workforce
Journal or Publication Title: International Journal of Pharmacy Practice
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
ISSN: 0961-7671
DOI / ID Number: 10.1111/ijpp.12567
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2019 Royal Pharmaceutical Society

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