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Perceptions of UK Community Pharmacists on Current Consultation Skills and Motivational Interviewing as a Consultation Approach: A Qualitative Study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Zahraa Jalal, Sania Akhtar, Katherine Finlay, Kathryn King, Neera Goel, Jon Ward

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1 -16
Number of pages16
Issue number52
Early online date31 May 2019
Accepted/In press28 May 2019
E-pub ahead of print31 May 2019


King's Authors


Objectives: Community pharmacists’ roles in the UK are evolving; pharmacists currently deliver a wider range of clinical services with more patient-focused care. The objectives of this study were (i) to investigate UK community pharmacists’ views on their current communication skills in
pharmacist-patient facing consultations, and (ii) to explore the perceptions of UK community pharmacists towards the application of motivational interviewing (MI) in a pharmacy consultation. In-depth qualitative face-to-face, semi-structured interviews with ten practicing community pharmacists were carried out, ranging from 30–60 minutes in length. The interviews were audio
recorded, transcribed verbatim and thematic analysis was employed. Four themes emerged from the data: (1) the fight for time; (2) wrestling with consultation styles; (3) a personal communication evolution; and (4) unfamiliar but engaging motivational interviewing. These themes demonstrated
the juxtaposition between the desire for patient-centred care and the pressures of managing broader dispensing work. Participants were critical of academic and continuous professional learning (CPD) training in communication skills and there was a strong recognition of the potential role of MI in promoting patient autonomy and outcomes. Participants recognized a few elements of MI
techniques in their current consultations, but welcomed further training on behavioral change for effective consultations, expressing a desire for practical MI-specific training. Face-to-face CPD of consultation skills is needed to avoid the feeling of isolation among UK practicing pharmacists and rigidity in consultation delivery. Support for community pharmacists from other pharmacy staff could relieve current pressures and allow pharmacists time to develop and acquire effective skills for patient facing roles. Behavioural change consultation skills training for pharmacists could be an effective strategy to address these current challenges.

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