Projects looking at use of patient-held information about medication (PHIMed) and shared decision making in the pharmacist-patient interaction have been awarded 2017 project grants by Pharmacy Research UK (PRUK).

Keeping patients informed on their medicines

Pharmacy research

Professor Bryony Dean Franklin from UCL School of Pharmacy has been awarded nearly £93,000 to investigate how PHIMEd is used in practice, identify which aspects of PHIMed support medicines optimisation and whether tools currently used to keep patients informed on their medications align with these key aspects, and to make initial recommendations on the use and future development of PHIMed.

PRUK executive director Dr Rachel Joynes commented on the importance of Professor Franklin’s research: “The risks of poor health information transfer are well known and we hope that this project will start to address some of those issues.”

Professor Franklin said: “We know that when people move from one healthcare setting to another (such as from their own home to hospital), errors can occur in communication of information about their medicines. We also know that many patients want to be more active partners in their healthcare and that many use different types of PHIMed, both paper and electronic, to help them remember their current medicines. 

“However, we do not know how PHIMed should best be used or what the most important features are. Discussions with patients and carers also suggest this is an important area. I am therefore absolutely delighted that PRUK are enabling us to do this research.” 

Patient-pharmacist decision making

Professor Mandy Ryan and colleagues from the University of Aberdeen are also to receive a share of the £200,000 project fund, PRUK announced. Professor Ryan said she was “delighted” to receive the grant. 

Professor Ryan’s project, which will run over two years, will help provide a clear picture of which aspects of chronic pain treatment matter to patients, how they trade between treatment attributes, and the overall benefit of treatment to patients, PRUK says.

This data will be used to develop and pilot a personalised computer based decision aid tool to facilitate shared decision making between patients and pharmacists.

PRUK’s Dr Rachel Joynes said: “Pharmacists are increasingly involved in the management of chronic pain and there are clear benefits to involving the patient in decisions around their care. We hope this research will result in a tool that will benefit all pharmacists in the management of chronic pain.”

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