In a physician-pharmacist collaborative-care (PPCC) intervention, community pharmacists were responsible for initiating lipid-lowering pharmacotherapy and adjusting the medication dosage. They attended a 1-day interactive workshop supported by a treatment protocol and clinical and communication tools. Afterwards, changes in pharmacists' knowledge, their skills, and their satisfaction with the workshop were evaluated.
In a descriptive study nested in a clinical trial, pharmacists assigned to the PPCC intervention (n = 58) completed a knowledge questionnaire before and after the workshop. Their theoretical skills were evaluated with the use of a vignette approach (n = 58) after the workshop and their practical skills were assessed by direct observation with study patients (n = 28).
The mean (SD) overall knowledge score was 45.8% (12.1%) before the workshop; it increased significantly to 89.3% (8.3%) afterwards (mean difference: 43.5%; 95% CI: 40.3%-46.7%). All the pharmacists had an overall theoretical-skill score of at least 80%, the minimum required to apply the PPCC in the trial. From 92.9% to 100% of the pharmacists' interventions with study patients complied with the treatment protocol.
In primary care, a short continuing-education program based on a specific treatment protocol and clinical tools is necessary and probably sufficient to prepare pharmacists to provide advanced pharmaceutical care.