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News - 30 Jul 2015

Interview with the authors of Integrated Pharmacy Case Studies


Integrated Pharmacy Case StudiesWe talk to Sally-Anne Francis, Felicity Smith, John Malkinson, Andrew Constanti and Kevin Taylor, authors of the innovative new book Integrated Pharmacy Case Studies.

Pharmaceutical Press: Congratulations on the publication of Integrated Pharmacy Case Studies 1st edition. What inspired you to write a book on this subject?

Authors: Largely driven by the GPhC's standards for the initial education and training of pharmacists, pharmacy education is increasingly being taught and assessed in a more integrated way than was previously the case. Now there should be clear links between practice and relevant science, with an emphasis on the application of science to patient-centred care. To date no other book has attempted such an integrated approach and as a team we relished the challenge.

Pharmaceutical Press: This book is one of a kind, carving a unique space for itself in the academic market. What makes this book so different?

Authors: The need for pharmacists to make decisions informed by pharmaceutical science is essential to being an effective practitioner, and will become ever more important in a rapidly evolving profession; this was the principle that guided the design and production of this book. Using a case-based approach, the text presents the fundamental aspects of pharmaceutical chemistry, pharmacology, pharmaceutics and therapeutics within a patient-care context, demonstrating to students how knowledge acquired during their learning has a direct application in practice. This was a collaborative project between 89 contributors! Pharmacist practitioners, using their professional expertise and patient-based practice experience, initially wrote the case studies; the editorial team subsequently added further science content, integrating it into the case, thereby illustrating its direct relevance to practice-based decisions. This book will support the reader to integrate their learning and provides a patient-care context for their pharmaceutical knowledge.

Pharmaceutical Press: Having an array of case studies to explain practical issues/challenges that are encountered by pharmacists is a brilliant idea. What issues are dealt with in the book?

Authors: A comprehensive range of cases has been included to cover the broadest range of clinical conditions (e.g. gastrointestinal, liver, renal, cardiovascular, respiratory, central nervous system, infections, endocrinology, malignant disease, immunosuppression and haematology, musculoskeletal and joint disease, eye, nose and throat, skin and rarer conditions) from both community and hospital practice. Each case includes learning outcomes, a patient case interspersed with questions and new information revealing changing circumstances (intending to mimic clinical practice), case discussion, references and extended learning points - to stimulate wider thinking beyond the core issues presented in the case.

Pharmaceutical Press: In your opinion, who will benefit from these case studies and why?

Authors: The book was primarily designed for use by undergraduate pharmacy students and pre-registration trainees. However, it will also be useful for qualified pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and other health care professionals. In addition, pharmacy tutors and lecturers will find it very useful to plan and use in learning activities.

Pharmaceutical Press: Since pharmacy is a large domain, how did you decide the subjects covered in this book?

Authors: The book is loosely based on the chapter content of the British National Formulary, which guided us in terms of developing a wish list of clinical areas that we wanted to include. This was then further refined based on the expertise of our clinical practitioner colleagues who were approached to contribute to the book. Their broad range and depth of experience spanning a variety of sectors of practice has been key to the wide scope of the cases included. We could not possibly hope to cover all aspects of pharmaceutical science. Rather, the science content has been led by the patient-focused case - we like to feel it has earned the right to be there. Overall, we are very pleased with the breadth and diversity of content in the book.

Pharmaceutical Press
: Are there any other areas you left out which could potentially be part of the next edition?

Authors: This was an ambitious project from the outset, in terms of the number of contributors and ensuring coverage of the main clinical conditions. It would be unrealistic to expect to cover all areas. A future edition of the book would enable new areas to be included, but also given the rapidly changing nature of clinical practice, new drug therapies and scientific advances, it would also provide the opportunity to update and develop cases that have been included in this first edition.

Pharmaceutical Press: Do you have any tips for lecturers on how to use this book when teaching and how to get the most out of this title?

Authors: Lecturers will be aware that integrated learning is considered essential in a modern pharmacy course. We envisage this text will be an excellent resource for those charged with designing and delivering such courses. Given the structure of the book, with the cases organised according to body system, we hope that lecturers will find material relevant to their teaching area easily accessible. The cases have a range of complexity depending on the focus of the learning outcomes and so reviewing these at the start of each case would also guide the lecturer to the appropriateness of the material for the students that they are teaching. We included further reading and extended learning points specifically to take the student beyond the limits of the actual case presented. So whilst the case may support the lecturer when teaching a specific clinical area, it is also designed to take the more able and inquisitive student to think beyond the confines of the individual case.

Pharmaceutical Press: What would you say to your readers and students?

Authors: The cases have been written by practitioners and supplemented by academic pharmacists. They represent current clinical and scientific knowledge, and are informed by the experience, expertise and opinions of the authors. Readers will marvel at the range and depth of expertise that is required to be an effective practitioner. The cases themselves are written to inform and educate. They should not be taken as a template for professional practice. Readers should be mindful that knowledge, pharmacotherapy and treatment guidelines are continually changing and that pharmacists are called upon to make judgements based on their own knowledge and experience. Readers should be prepared, at times, to question and disagree with what they read!

Pharmaceutical Press: What are the biggest challenges you faced, while writing this book?

Authors: Ensuring there were enough Welsh cakes for the endless editorial meetings!

Pharmaceutical Press: And finally, what do you enjoy doing when you are not teaching pharmacy?

Authors: Academic life affords little down time. That said, we all have our own ways of enjoying free moments:

Sally-Anne: Challenging myself at bootcamp, hockey training and tennis (so I have some hope of keeping up with my 3 children) and passionate supporter of Welsh rugby.
Felicity: playing my violin in The Lambeth Orchestra.
John: Judo - at least three times a week and most weekends - both training and coaching (though more of the latter these days, mainly as a consequence of many years of the former).
Andy: When I am not teaching pharmacy, I enjoy writing and performing pop music: I am a founding member of the UCLSOP band A&E and am also an Associate member of BASCA (British Association of Songwriters Composers and Authors).
Kevin: Digging on my allotment and humming (though I also do this while teaching).

Purchase your copy of Integrated Pharmacy Case Studies here.


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