Nurse involvement in the prescribing of antipsychotics in dementia in care homes

Poster presentation by PhD candidate, Amna Raza, at the the PhD Pharmacy Conference, April 2019, Henley Business School, University of Reading.

Amna Raza
1Professor Parastou Donyai, 1,2 Tim Langran and 2Sundus Jawad
1Department of Pharmacy, University of Reading, Reading, RG6 6UB; 2Berkshire CCG

Study Background: The behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) describe a set of distressing symptoms (e.g. anxiety, aggression, calling out, wandering) that can affect the overall quality of life and the quality of care provided to those living with dementia. Antipsychotics are sometimes prescribed for the management of BPSD but they are associated with an increased risk of adverse effects including stroke and death. The high use of antipsychotics has been reported in care home settings, where one third of patients have dementia or memory problems. Studies have found that on-site staff request to prescribe antipsychotics is one of the major factors responsible for problematic
prescribing. There is in fact a dearth of evidence in the literature focussed on interventions that aim to change nursing staff beliefs and behaviour toward antipsychotic prescribing. Moreover, the theoretical underpinning of much of the work focussing on behaviour change in this area is unclear as studies have not made explicit the theoretical framework of their interventions. This provided the rationale for adapting an intervention based on Behaviour Change Techniques (BCT) to change nurses’ attitude toward prescribing in the current project.

Aim: To evaluate the effectiveness of behavioural change intervention on staff attitudes toward the use of antipsychotics in people with dementia in care homes (n=6) and on the actual prescribing of antipsychotics for these residents.

Methodology: This is a mixed method study, planned to be completed in 5 steps. Step 1: Antipsychotic in Dementia Attitude Questionnaire (ADAQ) constructed from an existing nurses’ behaviour questionnaire was revised using Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) construct procedure as described in Ajzen (2006). The resultant questionnaire (ADAQ-v1) will be subjected to content validity check and followed by pilot testing of questionnaire. The finalised version of questionnaire going to be named as ADAQ-vf will be used to determine nurses’ attitude toward prescribing of antipsychotics. Step 2:The researcher will review patient medication record by physical visit to each care home to monitor prescribing of antipsychotics in residents. Step 3: A work shop will be conducted to increase the understanding of staff about managing BPSD through posters and quick reference cards. Step 4: After 6 and 12 months of the study, the perception of nursing staff using ADAQ-vf and prescribing of antipsychotics for residents will be monitored . Step 5: Usability of the training material will be assessed by interviewing staff at each care homes at the end of the project.

A Pluralistic Qualitative Study of Medicine Adherence in Patients after Myocardial Infarction

Poster presentation by PhD candidate, Hannah Piekarz, at the the PhD Pharmacy Conference, April 2019, Henley Business School, University of Reading.

Hannah Piekarz

Professor Parastou Donyai and Mrs Catherine Langran

Reading School of Pharmacy, University of Reading, Reading, RG6 6UB. UK


Following an acute myocardial infarction (AMI), patients are prescribed a regime of cardioprotective medicines to prevent recurrent cardiovascular events and mortality. This is strongly recommended in international guidelines as clinical evidence shows improved long-term outcomes for patients who receive optimal therapy. Medication adherence in this patient group is poor, and current interventions such as physical memory aids or psychological motivational patient interviews have made improvements, but a single practical intervention with a significant effect to improve adherence has yet to be developed and implemented.

Medicine adherence comes from a complex set of behaviours, and this study aims to better understand the beliefs and experiences of medicine-taking in this group of patients. This will be completed through semi-structured interviews starting with people recruited from support groups, then snowballing will be used to draw in further appropriate participants. Data will be analysed using three methods in order to obtain multiple perspectives and a richer, more in-depth set of results. Grounded theory analysis will be used to model the processes involved in adherence to medication following AMI, interpretative phenomenological analysis will be used in order to better understand the experience from a patient’s perspective, and discourse analysis to illustrate the power relationships that exist through the process.

The results of this study could be used to better understand the problem of non-adherence in this group and then inform the design of an appropriate intervention to improve medicine adherence following AMI.

Pharmacist non-medical prescribing in primary care. A systematic review of views, opinions and attitudes

Poster presentation by PhD student, Timothy Mills, at the PhD Pharmacy Conference, April 2019, Henley Business School, University of Reading.

Timothy Mills
Dr Nilesh Patel and Professor Kath Ryan
Reading School of Pharmacy, University of Reading, Reading, RG6 6UB UK

Introduction: Non-medical prescribers (NMPs) are healthcare professionals, such as pharmacists and nurses, who have obtained an advanced qualification in prescribing. Uptake of non-medical prescribing by pharmacists has been slow. Pharmacist prescribing is intended to provide quicker and more efficient patient access to medicines, a reduction in doctor workload and enhanced professional satisfaction. This systematic review asks: “What are the barriers and facilitators to non-medical prescribing by primary care pharmacists?”

Aim: The purpose of this review is to look at the views, opinions and attitudes of pharmacists or graduates towards or about non-medical prescribing in primary care.

Methods: Medline, ScienceDirect, Embase and the University of Reading Summon Service were searched to identify qualitative and mixed methods papers that addressed the Aim. Papers published between January 2003 and September 2017 were included. Studies were quality assessed using the CASP checklist. The articles were coded and analysed using thematic synthesis.

Results: Eighty-five full text articles were reviewed from which 14 met the inclusion criteria. All articles were of moderate or high quality. Thematic synthesis identified two themes: (1) practice environment and (2) pharmacist’s role. Non-medical pharmacist prescribers reported increased job satisfaction and sense of professionalism, however, they often felt under prepared for the reality of unsupervised practice. Some pharmacists report prescribing has legitimised previous practice. Mentoring during training and post qualification improved pharmacists’ confidence to prescribe. They experienced both support and resistance from members of the primary care team, including other pharmacists and doctors. The practicalities of doing the job are hindered by the lack of access to patient records and resources.

Conclusion: The review identified perceived and real barriers to non-medical prescribing that could be overcome with appropriate training, mentoring and a supportive environment. Consideration of these will assist and advance pharmacist prescribing in primary care, with the associated positive outcomes for both patient care and the pharmacy profession

Video Reflexive Ethnography: ethical considerations

In the UK, all research proposals involving human participants in an NHS setting require NHS Research Ethics Committee (REC) approval.  Video Reflexive Ethnography (VRE) presents particular challenges because it captures healthcare practitioners’ work and enables them to scrutinise how work happened and analyse their practices in the reflexive meetings. VRE may also pose risks by revealing how work is actually done.

There are many ethical issues with the use of VRE such as, who will be able to see the footage, how the participants confidentiality will be maintained, what the researcher will do if something wrong happened while videoing, how the footage will be used when the research project finishes. Doctoral candidate from pharmacy practice, Mais Iflaifel, presented the specific issues that have emerged in the process of NHS REC approval and the responses to tackle these issues by using an example in a study “understanding safety differently: developing a model of resilience in the use of intravenous insulin infusions in hospital in-patients”. This might serve as a practical guidance to help other VRE researchers in the UK.

An Interprofessional Learning symposium on the holistic management of patients who fall

On the 21st February 2019, pharmacy, occupational therapy and physiotherapy students came together for a one day inter-professional symposium on falls. The day started with an engaging and informative keynote speech from Dr Colin Mitchell, Consultant in Geriatric Medicine at St. Mary’s Hospital, Imperial College NHS Healthcare Trust. This was followed by expert patients sharing their experience of falls and the impact falls have had on their quality of life.

The students then split into small groups to complete video cased based learning and simulation activities. For the simulation activities students wore visual impairment glasses and attempted to read and complete a NHS menu choice form, then read the label on a box of medicine and the patient information leaflet inside. Students (in pairs – one wearing the visual impairment glasses and ear plugs and one as a safety guide) then walked around the Palmer building and the quad, identifying and reflecting on any hazards and difficulties experienced.











Students then put on bariatric and elderly simulation suits. Students began by lying on the floor, as though they had fallen, and attempted to get back up. Once up, the students complete a series of physiotherapy rehabilitation tasks. The simulation suits made all these tasks more challenging for students, in particular struggling to get up off the floor and tiring quicker.

The feedback from students was very positive. For the simulation activities, they stated they enjoyed putting themselves in the patients’ eyes/body and they have a much better appreciation of the challenges patients face. They also identified ways as healthcare professionals they could make changes to help these patients e.g. reading out the menu choices, large-print labels for medicines and modifying physiotherapy exercises.











Catherine Langran, Lecturer, School of Pharmacy