Interprofessional collaborative care has been shown to improve patient outcomes. Physicians’ views on collaboration with pharmacists give an insight into what contributes to a well-functioning team. Little is known about these views from low and middle-income countries and nothing from the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The purpose of this study is to investigate physicians’ opinions on collaborative relationships with community pharmacists in the UAE. Semi-structured individual interviews and group discussions are conducted with a purposive sample of physicians. Thematic analysis based on the framework approach is used to generate themes. A total of 53 physicians participated. Three themes about collaboration emerged: perceived benefits of collaboration, facilitators of collaboration and perceived barriers to collaboration. Perceived benefits include reducing the burden on physicians, having the pharmacist as an extra safety check within the system, having the pharmacist assist patients to manage their medications: coping with side effects, reducing drug waste and costs, and attaining professional and health-system gains. Perceived facilitators included awareness and trust building, professional role definition, pharmacists’ access to patient records and effective communication. Perceived barriers included patient and physician acceptance, logistic and financial issues and perceived pharmacist competence. This study has, for the first time, provided useful information to inform the future development of pharmacist-physician collaboration in the UAE and other countries with similar healthcare systems.
- interprofessional care
- United Arab Emirates