Background: Pharmacists' professional roles have maturated to include provision of information, education, and pharmaceutical care services. These changes have resulted in a focus on collaborative pharmacist-patient professional relationships, in which pharmacists and patients both have roles and responsibilities. Objective: The study purpose was to investigate pharmacists' and patients' views of selected pharmacist and patient roles in the pharmacist-patient professional relationship, using principles of role theory. Pharmacist and patient role dimensions studied included (1) "information sharing,"(2) "responsible behavior," and (3) "interpersonal communication." "Creating a patient-centered relationship" and "active communication related to health care" were additional pharmacist and patient role dimensions studied, respectively. Methods: Data were collected via mailed questionnaires from national random samples of 500 patients aged 18 years and older and 500 pharmacists. Internal consistency reliability was estimated for pharmacist and patient role dimensions using Cronbach's coefficient alpha and bivariate correlation analysis. Student's t test was used to compare pharmacists' and patients' views of role dimensions (alpha level of significance = .05). Descriptive statistics were used to characterize the pharmacist and patient samples. Results: The adjusted response rates for the pharmacist and patient groups were 34.9% (173/496) and 40.8% (196/480), respectively. Pharmacist and patient role dimensions exhibited adequate reliability coefficients. Results showed that pharmacists and patients have similar views regarding pharmacists' "information sharing" roles in the relationship, but for the most part, patients agree less about pharmacists' "responsible behavior," "creating a patient-centered relationship," and "interpersonal communication" roles. Regarding patient roles in the relationship, pharmacists and patients have different views about patients' "information sharing," "responsible behavior," "interpersonal communication," and "active communication related to health care" roles. Results suggest that pharmacists more strongly agree that these are patient roles in the relationship than patients do. Conclusions: If pharmacists and patients agree on relationship roles, the functionality and outcomes of this relationship will be optimized. Future research is needed to monitor trends in pharmacists' and patients' views of their relationship roles and to develop strategies as needed to ensure that pharmacists and patients are following the same relationship script.
- Patients' roles
- Pharmacist-patient relationship
- Pharmacists' roles
- Relationship script
- Role theory