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Mental Health Pharmacy Project

Executive Summary
Almost half of all Australian adults experience conditions such as depression or anxiety during their lifetime, with significant burden on individuals, families, carers and society. Appropriate medication use promotes recovery, yet suboptimal use and treatment adherence remain concerns. Community pharmacy is ideally placed to support mental health consumers and carers, because of accessibility and pharmacists’ expertise. Patient centered strategies and multifaceted medication support interventions improve health outcomes and adherence among consumers.

Research design
Three stages of research were conducted from November 2011 to December 2014 in three regions with mental health consumers and carers, stakeholders, pharmacists and support staff and
health professionals and support service providers.

Stage One: Learning needs assessment

  1. Literature review to identify the evidence regarding the medication needs of consumers and
    carers, their experienceswith and expectations of community pharmacy and the learning needs of pharmacy staff.

2. Stakeholder consultation with consumers, carers, mental health professionals and
organisation representatives exploring the potential role for pharmacy and the needs of consumers
and carers.

3. Pre-training assessment of learning needs amongst pharmacists and support staff.

4. Consumer and carer (exit) interviews within 72 hours of a pharmacy visit to explore service

Stage Two: Develop and pilot on-line mental health education for pharmacy staff

5. Literature review of pharmacy education and training to inform development of on-line

6. Development, piloting and refinement of on-line mental health education. Pharmacists
completed 8×30-min modules and support staff 4×30-min modules and a post-training
questionnaire. A pre-post study design with a comparison group was used to evaluate the impact of
the program.

7. Exit interviews were repeated at two timepoints to explore service experiences as training
was completed.

8. A follow-up pharmacist questionnaire at 6-12 months after training to explore long-term
impact on practice.

Stage Three: Development, implementation and evaluation of a medication support service

9. Literature review of the mental health, pharmacy services and practice
change research to inform service development, implementation and evaluation, including
strategies to promote collaboration.

10. Training and ongoing support from the mentors (pharmacist and consumer or carer) for pharmacy

11. Pre-post evaluation of the service’s impact upon consumers’ goal achievement, treatment satisfaction and health outcomes, the experiences of pharmacy staff, health professionals and support service providers.

Read the full executive summary with the key findings and recommendations here.

This research reveals many opportunities for community pharmacy staff to assist mental health consumers and their carers. Community pharmacy has potential value as an accessible, inexpensive
and safe health space that empowers consumers through information and connection to relevant support services. These findings provide pathways to different service models and insights
into service delivery that could inform widespread implementation of a patient centred service for mental health consumers and their carers. Table 1 (in the above Executive Summary) summarises the key findings and recommendations as stakeholder benefits.

Click here to read the whole report.

Source: Exploring the role of community pharmacy in supporting mental health consumers and carers, Executive Summary



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PIR is a Federally funded program. Other consortia members include Gold Coast Health and Mental Health Association QLD