Exploring the impact of pharmacist-led feedback on prescribing behaviour: A qualitative study

M. Lloyd, Simon Watmough, S.V. O'Brien, N. Furlong, K. Hardy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
52 Downloads (Pure)


Background Prescribing errors occur frequently in hospital settings. Interventions to influence prescribing behaviour are needed with feedback one potential intervention to improve prescribing practice. Doctors have reported a lack of feedback on their prescribing previously whilst the literature exploring the impact of feedback on prescribing behaviour is limited. Objectives To explore the impact of pharmacist-led feedback on prescribing behaviour. Methods Semi-structured interviews were conducted with doctors who had received prescribing error feedback. A topic guide was used to explore the type of error and what impact feedback was having on prescribing behaviour. All interviews were transcribed verbatim and analysed thematically using a framework approach. Results Twenty-three prescribers were interviewed and 65 errors discussed over 38 interviews. Key themes included; affective behaviour, learning outcome, prescribing behaviour and likelihood of error recurrence. Feedback was educational whilst a range of adaptive prescribing behaviours were also reported. Prescribers were more mindful and engaged with the prescribing process whilst feedback facilitated reflection, increased self-awareness and informed self-regulation. Greater information and feedback-seeking behaviours were reported whilst prescribers also reported greater situational awareness, and that they were making fewer prescribing errors following feedback. Conclusions Pharmacist-led feedback was perceived to positively influence prescribing behaviour. Reported changes in prescriber behaviour resonate with the non-technical skills (NTS) of prescribing with prescribers adapting their prescribing behaviour depending on the environment and prescribing conditions. A model of prescribing is proposed with NTS activated in response to error provoking conditions. These findings have implications for prescribing education to make it a more contextualised educational process.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)545-554
Number of pages10
JournalResearch in Social & Administrative Pharmacy
Issue number6
Early online date29 Jun 2018
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2018


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