An introduction to how realist research can inform pharmacy practice and policy

M. J, Twigg, K. Luetsch, I. Maidment, D. Rowett

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Theory-driven implementation and evaluation of pharmacy services can enhance their contribution to overall healthcare. Most pharmacy practice programs and services will be adopted and modified during their implementation into various healthcare contexts and systems. Realist approaches to theory-driven evaluation consider these variations in programs, interventions and the contexts of their implementation and establish theories on how they work best, for whom and why. This chapter illustrates the practical application of the realist philosophy of science to pharmacy practice and health services research. Two case studies, a realist synthesis of existing literature on medication reviews and a realist review and evaluation related to medicines management, illustrate the practical application of the realist logic of analysis. Causative explanations generated by this approach enable policy makers in their decision-making and pharmacy practice researchers and practitioners to optimize service design.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationContemporary Research Methods in Pharmacy and Health Services
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)9780323918886
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Contexts
  • Generative causation
  • Mechanisms
  • Middle range theory
  • Outcomes
  • Program theory
  • Scientific realism

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