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      New Roles for Pharmacists in Community Mental Health Care: A Narrative Review

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          Abstract

          Medicines are a major treatment modality for many mental illnesses, and with the growing burden of mental disorders worldwide pharmacists are ideally positioned to play a greater role in supporting people with a mental illness. This narrative review aims to describe the evidence for pharmacist-delivered services in mental health care and address the barriers and facilitators to increasing the uptake of pharmacist services as part of the broader mental health care team. This narrative review is divided into three main sections: (1) the role of the pharmacist in mental health care in multidisciplinary teams and in supporting early detection of mental illness; (2) the pharmacists’ role in supporting quality use of medicines in medication review, strategies to improve medication adherence and antipsychotic polypharmacy, and shared decision making; and (3) barriers and facilitators to the implementation of mental health pharmacy services with a focus on organizational culture and mental health stigma. In the first section, the review presents new roles for pharmacists within multidisciplinary teams, such as in case conferencing or collaborative drug therapy management; and new roles that would benefit from increased pharmacist involvement, such as the early detection of mental health conditions, development of care plans and follow up of people with mental health problems. The second section describes the impact of medication review services and other pharmacist-led interventions designed to reduce inappropriate use of psychotropic medicines and improve medication adherence. Other new potential roles discussed include the management of antipsychotic polypharmacy and involvement in patient-centered care. Finally, barriers related to pharmacists’ attitudes, stigma and skills in the care of patients with mental health problems and barriers affecting pharmacist-physician collaboration are described, along with strategies to reduce mental health stigma.

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          Most cited references156

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          Older people carry a high burden of illness for which medications are indicated, along with increased risk of adverse drug reactions. We developed an index to determine drug burden based on pharmacologic principles. We evaluated the relationship of this index to physical and cognitive performance apart from disease indication. Data from the Health, Aging, and Body Composition Study on 3075 well-functioning community-dwelling persons aged 70 to 79 years were analyzed by multiple linear regression to assess the cross-sectional association of drug burden index with a validated composite continuous measure for physical function, and with the Digit Symbol Substitution Test for cognitive performance. Use of anticholinergic and sedative medications was associated with poorer physical performance score (anticholinergic exposure, 2.08 vs 2.21, P<.001; sedative exposure, 2.09 vs 2.19, P<.001) and cognitive performance on the Digit Symbol Substitution Test (anticholinergic exposure, 34.5 vs 35.5, P = .045; sedative exposure, 34.0 vs 35.5, P = .01). Associations were strengthened when exposure was calculated by principles of dose response. An increase of 1 U in drug burden index was associated with a deficit of 0.15 point (P<.001) on the physical function scale and 1.5 points (P = .01) on the Digit Symbol Substitution Test. These values were more than 3 times those associated with a single comorbid illness. The drug burden index demonstrates that anticholinergic and sedative drug exposure is associated with poorer function in community-dwelling older people. This pharmacologic approach provides a useful evidence-based tool for assessing the functional effect of exposure to medications in this population.
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            In many health conditions, people are severely affected by health-related stigma and discrimination. A literature review was conducted to identify stigma-reduction strategies and interventions in the field of HIV/AIDS, mental illness, leprosy, TB and epilepsy. The review identified several levels at which interventions and strategies are being implemented. These are the intrapersonal, interpersonal, organizational/institutional, community and governmental/structural level. Although a lot of work has been carried out on stigma and stigma reduction, far less work has been done on assessing the effectiveness of stigma-reduction strategies. The effective strategies identified mainly concentrated on the individual and the community level. In order to reduce health-related stigma and discrimination significantly, single-level and single-target group approaches are not enough. What is required is a patient-centred approach, which starts with interventions targeting the intrapersonal level, to empower affected persons to assist in the development and implementation of stigma-reduction programmes at other levels.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Role: External Editor
                Role: External Editor
                Role: External Editor
                Journal
                Int J Environ Res Public Health
                Int J Environ Res Public Health
                ijerph
                International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
                MDPI
                1661-7827
                1660-4601
                21 October 2014
                October 2014
                : 11
                : 10
                : 10967-10990
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Research and Development Unit, Fundació Sant Joan de Déu, Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutic Chemistry, School of Pharmacy, Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona 08830, Spain; E-Mail: mrubio@ 123456pssjd.org
                [2 ]Faculty of Pharmacy, The University of Sydney, Sydney 2006, Australia; E-Mail: timothy.chen@ 123456sydney.edu.au
                Author notes
                [* ]Author to whom correspondence should be addressed; E-Mail: claire.oreilly@ 123456sydney.edu.au ; Tel.: +61-2-9351-2729; Fax: +61-2-9351-4391.
                Article
                ijerph-11-10967
                10.3390/ijerph111010967
                4211017
                25337943
                66a26d34-0758-4267-b54b-3e0e4a6d57c4
                © 2014 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

                This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

                History
                : 16 July 2014
                : 30 September 2014
                : 07 October 2014
                Categories
                Review

                Public health
                pharmacist,mental health care,quality use of medicines,community pharmacy,service implementation

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