What Is the Community Pharmacists’ Role in Supporting Older Australians with Palliative Care Needs?

Paul Tait, Amal Chakraborty, Kelly Jones, Jennifer Tieman

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Abstract

As the population ages, the number of older populations globally requiring palliative care is rapidly growing, requiring services of multidisciplinary teams—including community pharmacists. The aim of this study is to describe the community pharmacists’ perceived role in providing services to community dwelling older Australians receiving palliative care. Utilising an eight-domain End of Life Directions for Aged Care (ELDAC) care model, a national cross-sectional questionnaire was designed and undertaken online with Australian community pharmacists. Respondents were asked questions relating to socio-demographic characteristics, practice characteristics, and scope of services provided. Of the 62 pharmacists who responded to the questionnaire, 51 were included in the final data analysis and reporting. Pharmacists working in dispensing roles made up about half of the respondents, while the remainder worked in settings such as general practice, residential aged care, or providing medication review services. Pharmacists can identify patients with indicators of poor life expectancy and mostly work with older Australians daily. Dispensing and non-dispensing pharmacists offer a range of services that complement each other. Organisations caring for the aged should consider the role of the pharmacist, in caring for people with palliative care needs, along with their carers.

Original languageEnglish
Article number489
Number of pages13
JournalHealthcare (Switzerland)
Volume9
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2021

Keywords

  • Aged
  • Caregivers
  • Community pharmacy services
  • Death
  • Delivery of health care
  • General practice
  • Medication therapy management
  • Palliative care
  • Pharmacists
  • Surveys and questionnaires

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