Applying the patient perspective in healthcare research – exemplified by medicines use

Presentation abstract

In her presentation Professor Almarsdóttir will begin by reviewing her areas of research in the fields of Social Pharmacy and Clinical Pharmacy. Social pharmacy has the broad helicopter view of medicines in society – how they are managed and used. In order to understand medicines´ use the field focuses on eliciting the patient perspective and therein strives to be person-centered. Clinical pharmacy is a pharmacist specific area that focuses on making medicines as beneficial to patients as possible and seeks to reduce the risks of medicines use for patients. Although a profession-oriented discipline, clinical pharmacy has increasingly emphasized the importance of shared decision making in order to optimize drug therapy for patients, in this way emphasizing patient-involvement. Next, she will review what it means to be patient- or citizen-centric from a researcher’s perspective. This may include attempts to measure or assess qualitatively. Lastly, by using examples from research on medicine use, she will show how patients and citizens can be involved and engaged in future research within health care. Parallels from the patient perspective on medicines can be drawn to health care in general, although there are a few differences that will be highlighted.

Brief biography

Anna Birna Almarsdóttir is Professor of Social and Clinical Pharmacy at the University of Copenhagen and co-leads the WHO Collaborating Centre for research and training in the patient perspective on medicines use. She received her degree in pharmacy from the University of Iceland in 1988.  In 1994, she received a Ph.D. in Health Policy and Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA. Prior to her current position, she was professor at the University of Southern Denmark and professor at the University of Iceland. Her research interests include drug utilization with a special focus on the patient perspective on medicine use and pharmaceutical policy analysis. She has studied children‘s attitudes and beliefs about medicines as well as complex patients (who have many diseases). The latter focuses on how to rationalize their medicines use with the help of clinical pharmacists collaborating with other health professionals in various settings. She continues to study new ways of gauging patient experiences with medicines. Her work in pharmaceutical policy focuses on how medicines policies are formulated and how they impact patients, health care professionals and society. Her most recent publications concern the regulation of biosimilar drugs. Her methods interests are mainly questionnaire construction and triangulation of qualitative and quantitative research methods.