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The behaviors and experiences of the community pharmacy team on the provision of multi-compartment compliance aids.

Stewart, Derek; McDonald, Craig; MacLeod, Joan; MacLure, Katie; Gray, Gwen; McIntosh, Trudi


Derek Stewart

Craig McDonald

Joan MacLeod

Katie MacLure

Gwen Gray

Trudi McIntosh


Background - Multi-compartment compliance aids (MCAs) are repackaging systems for solid dosage form medicines. Acknowledging the lack of evidence that MCAs improve adherence or clinical outcomes, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society has expressed concern that MCAs have 'become regarded as a panacea for medicines use'. Objectives - To determine the behaviors and experiences of the community pharmacy team around MCA provision. Methods - A cross-sectional survey was conducted in 26 community pharmacies in the north east of Scotland. Survey items were grouped into: current activities in the provision of MCAs; potential influences on these activities; reports of patient experiences; and demographics. Data were analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics, and content analysis of responses to open questions. Principal component analysis (PCA) was performed on the items of potential influences on activities. Results - Data were collected from 136 community team members (median 4, range1-10 per pharmacy; 32.3% pharmacists). All were involved in some aspect of MCA provision and within the same pharmacy, several different staff positions were commonly involved in the same activity. PCA gave seven components; the lowest scores were obtained for the component of 'others expecting me to provide MCAs'. Participants agreed that GPs, patients and their families, and carers expected them to provide MCAs. Positive experiences of MCA provision were in themes of promoting patient adherence, reducing patient stress and enhancing patient monitoring. Further negative experiences were in of lack of shared patient decision making, worsening adherence and generation of medicines waste, and dealing with changing medicines. MCAs were not always considered to be the most appropriate solution. Conclusion - While community pharmacy teams value MCAs, there may be issues around staff assignment to particular roles, expectations from others and reports of negative patient experiences. A systematic approach to MCA provision and monitoring involving the multidisciplinary health and social care team is warranted.


STEWART, D., MCDONALD, C., MACLEOD, J., MACLURE, K., GRAY, G. and MCINTOSH, T. 2018. The behaviors and experiences of the community pharmacy team on the provision of multi-compartment compliance aids. Research in social and administrative pharmacy [online], 14(4) pages 347-355. Available from:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Apr 7, 2017
Online Publication Date Apr 9, 2017
Publication Date Apr 30, 2018
Deposit Date Apr 20, 2017
Publicly Available Date Apr 10, 2018
Journal Research in social and administrative pharmacy
Print ISSN 1551-7411
Electronic ISSN 1934-8150
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 14
Issue 4
Pages 347-355
Keywords Multicompartment compliance aids; Adherence; Expectations; Medicines; Survey; Scotland
Public URL


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