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Postgraduate Research Bursaries 2006-2007

An exploratory study to identify factors influencing the introduction of a community pharmacy based review service for people with epilepsy

Donna Durkan

Specialist Registrar in Public Health with Gateshead Primary Care Trust.

Donna is carrying out her research as part of a masters degree in health sciences at the University of Newcastle.

The majority of adults with epilepsy rely upon general practioner and others in primary care for much of their healthcare. Community pharmacists (chemists) are increasingly involved in providing advice and support to patients and to the primary healthcare team regarding the safe and effective use of medicines.

Research suggests that community pharmacists can improve outcomes for some long-term conditions (for example diabetes and heart disease) but there is limited research examining the role of community pharmacists in the management of epilepsy. Medication is important in controlling seizures, but side-effects are common.

In addition, many people want more information about their epilepsy including a better understanding of their medications. Community pharmacists may be ideally placed to facilitate an environment of ongoing support and education for people with epilepsy and can provide an effective link for patients between their GP and hospital doctor.

This research will examine the views of different healthcare professional groups about the delivery of epilepsy care, and what they feel current and future roles for community pharmacists are in delivering this care. Research to gather the views of people with epilepsy is planned and will follow on from this study.

Results from this study will be used to develop interventions to improve the care delivered to people with epilepsy. We will focus on developing a community pharmacy service that can contribute to ongoing care of adults with epilepsy.

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