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Expert Researchers

Pharmacy Research UK (and the out founder charities PPRT and PETCO) have been funding commissioned and researcher-led projects for over 15 years. Researchers supported by the charities have gone on to be leaders in all pharmacy sectors, public health, healthcare consulting and academia.

Below a selection of our expert researchers reflect on the research their funding has enabled them to undertake.

Dr Ian Maidment

Aston University

Ian received funding from PRUK in 2014.

“Thanks to the support from PRUK we have been able to interview people with dementia, family carers and a range of health and social care professionals. These interviews have increased our understanding of the medication management challenges in dementia and the potential role of community pharmacists.  

Medication management is very complex in people with dementia, who are also particularly vulnerable to the side-effects of medication. We need to ensure that systems support people with dementia and their family carers with medication management. Ultimately, the outputs of this research will inform the development of interventions to optimise medication usage in people with dementia.”

See more information on this area in Dr Maidment’s research programme.

Dr Nicola Gray & Dr Janet McDonagh

Greenline Consulting & University of Manchester

Nicola (pictured right) and Janet (pictured left) received PPRT funding in 2012 and PRUK funding in 2014. Nicola is an Independent Pharmacist Researcher from Green Line Consulting Limited and Janet is Senior Lecturer in Paediatric and Adolescent Rheumatology at the University of Manchester.

“We met through a shared interest in young people’s health and Pharmacy Research UK funding has now supported two multidisciplinary projects led by us. The first ‘Arthriting’ project, funded by PPRT, allowed us to capture the perspectives of young people living with arthritis (and their parents) to explore links between their identity, condition and medicine use using a novel bespoke blogging website. We noted that young people experienced a number of challenges with their medicines, but that the pharmacist was not often mentioned as a resource to support them. We applied successfully for PRUK funding in order to use the insights from ‘Arthriting’ to enable pharmacists and rheumatology staff to identify and prioritise roles that pharmacists could develop to support young people. This benefited greatly from the inclusion of excellent pharmacy practitioners like Jonathan Burton (pictured centre) in the research team. We have reported our findings both nationally and internationally. We plan now to use our combined results to inform an intervention and trial.

We hope that our research will inform a pharmacy vision to support young people to help them to optimise lifelong medicine-taking behaviours. We also hope that our successful cross-disciplinary partnership shows the potential for pharmacy to create enduring research links with medicine and other clinical groups.”

See Nicky and Janet’s latest research report.

 

Dr Debi Bhattacharya

Senior Lecturer in Pharmacy Practice

Debi received funding from PRUK in 2014 and won the RPS-PRUK Research Award in 2016.

“With PRUK funding we were able to further develop the IMAB-Q which is a brief questionnaire to identify patient medication non-adherence and elucidate the modifiable factors that are contributing to this non-adherence.  The IMAB-Q was developed using behaviour change theory and empirical evidence and is intended to guide medicine related discussions between the patient and healthcare professional.

The PRUK funding supported nine community pharmacy teams to become involved with research.  The teams successfully recruited 660 patients and undertook 30 medicines use reviews as a component of the trial.  Seven of the pharmacists involved in the trial gave up an evening to attend a focus group exploring their experiences of being involved in the trial.  They largely enjoyed participating in the research study and motivation for taking part included doing something more for patients; financial gain; staff benefit and training; involvement in research; links to the university; and raising the profile of pharmacies.

As a result of the research funded by PRUK, we have been able to demonstrate that the IMAB-Q is reliable and valid.  The next stage in this programme of research will be to test the IMAB-Q for its clinical utility.”

See more information on IMAB-Q.