Research Roundup

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Debbie Rigby rounds up the latest in research news

The Role of the Pharmacist in the Care of Patients with Chronic Pain

Pharmacists across the healthcare continuum are well positioned to collaborate with patients to effectively manage their chronic pain. Evidence supports positive outcomes when pharmacists undertake these roles; however, there are barriers preventing uptake across the profession. This paper aims to expand awareness of the breadth of these roles, including pharmaceutical care provision, interprofessional collaboration, pain and medication education, support for patients in self-management and acceptance of responsibility to be culturally responsive and decrease stigma.

Integrated Pharmacy Research and Practice 2021:10 33–41

Low back pain management – What Australian community pharmacists recommend and how this compares to current clinical guidelines

A survey of 176 Australian pharmacists’ views, knowledge and practices in low back pain management shows an important need for improvement in knowledge and awareness of clinical guidelines and resources. Approximately 75% reported they would recommend ibuprofen over paracetamol for low back pain. More than 40% reported being unaware that there are specific guidelines available for the management of LBP symptoms.

International Journal of Pharmacy Practice, 5 May 2021.

Prescription medications for sleep disturbances among midlife women

A USA cohort study of midlife women taking sleep medications showed no difference in sleep latency, early morning awakening, and frequent awakenings over a two-year period. This study does not support use of sleep medications including benzodiazepines, Z-drugs and other agents used off-label, over the long term.

BMJ Open 2021;11:e045074.

Off-label medicine use: Ethics, practice and future directions

This paper discusses ethical, practice and policy considerations associated with off-label medicine use. The authors urge prescribers to continue using shared decision making to ensure patients are aware when a medicine is being prescribed off-label, what off-label use means, and are informed of the known and unknown benefits and risks.

Australian Journal of General Practice 2021;50(5):329-31.


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