The Philosophy of Practice for Comprehensive Medication Management: Evaluating Its Meaning and Application by Practitioners

Deborah L. Pestka, Lindsay A. Sorge, Mary Roth McClurg, Todd D. Sorensen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Objective: Philosophy of practice is the foundation of any patient care practice because it provides a set of professional values and beliefs that guide actions and decisions in practice. Study objectives were to understand how pharmacists providing comprehensive medication management (CMM) describe their philosophy of practice and compare how participants’ philosophies align with predefined tenets of a CMM philosophy of practice. Methods: An instrument with closed and open-ended items was developed and administered online to the lead pharmacist at 36 clinics participating in a large CMM study. Participants were asked to describe their philosophy of practice, rate how well their current practice activities align with five predefined CMM philosophy of practice tenets, and provide examples of how they carry out each tenet and how they could improve. Responses were coded, and descriptive analysis was used to calculate participants’ practice alignment with the five philosophy of practice tenets. Results: Thirty pharmacists completed the instrument. Twelve codes emerged that participants used to describe their philosophy of practice. These codes were mapped to five predefined tenets of a philosophy of practice. Only 3 (10%) participants included all five tenets in their philosophy of practice, 8 (26.7%) included four, 8 (26.7%) included three, 6 (20%) included two, and 5 (16.7%) included one tenet. Overall, participants rated their alignment with the five tenets highly. “Embracing a patient-centered approach” received the highest mean score of 9.17/10; “Meeting a societal need” had the lowest mean score of 8.37/10. Conclusion: Participants described their philosophy of practice with significant variability. CMM requires a single and consistently applied philosophy of practice to guide practice and the role of the practitioner. We propose five core tenets that resulted from this assessment to be embraced by pharmacists providing CMM and included in their philosophy of practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)69-79
Number of pages11
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This project was supported by the American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP) and the ACCP Research Institute through the grant Enhancing Performance in Primary Care Medical Practice through Implementation of Comprehensive Medication Management. *Address for correspondence: Deborah L. Pestka, Department of Pharmaceutical Care and Health Systems, College of Pharmacy, University of Minnesota, 7-191 Weaver-Densford Hall, 308 Harvard Street S.E., Minneapolis, MN 55455; e-mail: © 2017 Pharmacotherapy Publications, Inc.


  • clinical pharmacy services
  • comprehensive medication management
  • philosophy of practice


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