Support for Australian carers from community pharmacy: Insight into carer perspectives of a novel service
The feasibility of an individualised carer support service delivered in community pharmacies was assessed from the perspective of carer participants using a pre–post questionnaire and semistructured interviews. Eligible pharmacies were required to offer a medication management service relevant to carers and have a semiprivate space for conversations. Carers were required to self‐identify as an unpaid support person for someone with a chronic condition or disability. Between September 2016 and March 2017, staff from 11 community pharmacies in South‐East Queensland, Australia were trained, and provided with ongoing mentoring from a pharmacist and carer to support service implementation. Identification of carers and support to achieve a personal and care‐giving goal were key features of the service. Questionnaires included the EQ‐5D‐3L, the Bakas Caregiving Outcomes Scale, and questions relating to goal achievement, carer roles, and responsibilities. Seven follow‐up carer interviews were undertaken between March and May 2017 and analysed thematically. Pre–post questionnaires were available for 17 carers (one withdrew, two incomplete). Of the 29 goals set, 10 were achieved and 14 partially achieved. EQ‐5D‐3L scores were unchanged, while 7 of the 15 items comprising the Bakas score improved (p < 0.05). Carer service evaluation was generally favourable, and these two main interview themes were the impact of caring and pharmacy experience. The impact of caring, while variable, was significant. Pharmacy experiences were mostly positive and the opportunity for carers to further engage with pharmacy staff was appreciated. The service was feasible and initial reported benefits to carers may support further research potentially in terms of a larger controlled trial.
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