A stakeholder co-design approach for developing a community pharmacy service to enhance screening and management of atrial fibrillation

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Background: Community pharmacies provide a suitable setting to promote self-screening programs aimed at enhancing the early detection of atrial fibrillation (AF). Developing and implementing novel community pharmacy services (CPSs) is a complex and acknowledged challenge, which requires comprehensive planning and the participation of relevant stakeholders. Co-design processes are participatory research approaches that can enhance the development, evaluation and implementation of health services. The aim of this study was to co-design a pharmacist-led CPS aimed at enhancing self-monitoring/screening of AF. Methods: A 3-step co-design process was conducted using qualitative methods: (1) interviews and focus group with potential service users (n = 8) to identify key needs and concerns; (2) focus group with a mixed group of stakeholders (n = 8) to generate a preliminary model of the service; and (3) focus group with community pharmacy owners and managers (n = 4) to explore the feasibility and appropriateness of the model. Data were analysed qualitatively to identify themes and intersections between themes. The JeMa2 model to conceptualize pharmacy-based health programs was used to build a theoretical model of the service. Results: Stakeholders delineated: a clear target population (i.e., individuals ≥65 years old, with hypertension, with or without previous AF or stroke); the components of the service (i.e., patient education; self-monitoring at home; results evaluation, referral and follow-up); and a set of circumstances that may influence the implementation of the service (e.g., quality of the service, competency of the pharmacist, inter-professional relationships, etc.). A number of strategies were recommended to enable implementation (e.g.,. endorsement by leading cardiovascular organizations, appropriate communication methods and channels between the pharmacy and the general medical practice settings, etc.). Conclusion: A novel and preliminary model of a CPS aimed at enhancing the management of AF was generated from this participatory process. This model can be used to inform decision making processes aimed at adopting and piloting of the service. It is expected the co-designed service has been adapted to suit existing needs of patients and current care practices, which, in turn, may increase the feasibility and acceptance of the service when it is implemented into a real setting.




Sabater-Hernández, D., Tudball, J., Ferguson, C., Franco-Trigo, L., Hossain, L. N., & Benrimoj, S. I. (2018). A stakeholder co-design approach for developing a community pharmacy service to enhance screening and management of atrial fibrillation. BMC Health Services Research, 18(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12913-018-2947-7

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