Community pharmacists’ opinions on their palliative care education needs and preferences of delivery of an educational programme: A qualitative study




Continuing education, Palliative care, Pharmacist, Professional development, Qualitative research


Background: The provision of medication and pharmaceutical care is an essential component of palliative care (PC). Lack of education in PC is a barrier to some community pharmacists providing care to PC patients.

Objective: To explore community pharmacists’ understanding of PC, their opinions of their PC education needs and to determine their preferences regarding delivery of a PC education programme.

Method: This study used a qualitative approach by means of semi-structured face-to-face interviews. Convenience and snowball sampling were used to select the sample population.

Results: Three main themes were identified when exploring PC education needs; (i) lack of knowledge about palliative care, (ii) role of community pharmacists in palliative care, and (iii) perceived barriers to accessing further education. Community pharmacists’ preferences for the delivery of an education programme were influenced by perceived barriers to accessing further education.

Conclusion: Community pharmacists’ understanding of PC highlighted a knowledge deficit which may be improved with further education.

Author Biographies

Maedhbh Flannery, Marymount University Hospital and Hospice & University College Cork, Cork, Ireland

Pharmacy Department & Pharmaceutical Care Research Group, School of Pharmacy

Ann Carmichael, Marymount University Hospital and Hospice, Curraheen Road, Co Cork, Ireland

Pharmacy Department

Margaret Bermingham, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland

Pharmaceutical Care Research Group, School of Pharmacy

Kevin Murphy, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland

Pharmaceutical Care Research Group, School of Pharmacy


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How to Cite

Flannery, M., Carmichael, A., Bermingham, M., & Murphy, K. (2022). Community pharmacists’ opinions on their palliative care education needs and preferences of delivery of an educational programme: A qualitative study . Pharmacy Education, 22(1), p. 637–646.



Research Article