Barriers and facilitators to pharmacists integrating into the ward-based multidisciplinary team: A systematic review and meta-synthesis

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Pharmacists who are integrated into the ward team are involved in initial decision making, therefore pre-empting pharmaceutical problems and optimising therapy from the outset. Identifying the barriers and facilitators (determinants) to successful pharmacist integration within a multidisciplinary ward team will facilitate design of strategies to support integration.

The study aimed to identify the modifiable barriers and facilitators to pharmacist integration into the ward-based multidisciplinary team.

Searches were conducted in May 2018 across 5 databases: MEDLINE, Embase, CINAHL, PsychINFO and ASSIA, combined with grey literature and manual searches. Qualitative and mixed-methods studies using a qualitative method of data collection and analysis were eligible if reporting at least 1 modifiable determinant. Framework synthesis using the Theoretical Domains Framework (TDF) as the a priori coding framework was undertaken. Behaviour change techniques for addressing the identified determinants were selected.

Twenty studies were included indicating 9 facilitators and 5 barriers to pharmacist integration. These were grouped into 3 themes. Professional knowledge and skills of the pharmacist were a facilitator to integration; interpersonal skills and relationships when representing positive interactions with team members were a facilitator whilst hierarchy was a barrier; working patterns were a facilitator when pharmacists were co-located with team members whilst profession-specific goals and excessive workload were barriers. These mapped to the TDF domains ‘knowledge’, ‘social/professional role and identity’, ‘skills’, ‘reinforcement’, ‘social influence’, ‘goals’, and ‘environmental context and resources’ respectively.

The identified determinants within TDF domains and their associated behaviour change techniques now enable researchers to design theory- and evidence-based interventions to facilitate pharmacist integration into the ward-based multidisciplinary team. Pharmacist integration is facilitated by their knowledge and skills being valued and through demonstrating effective interpersonal skills. Re-structuring pharmacist responsibilities and working patterns to align with those of multidisciplinary team members also promotes integration
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1923-1936
Number of pages14
JournalResearch in Social and Administrative Pharmacy
Issue number11
Early online date16 Feb 2021
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021


  • Collaboration
  • Integration
  • Pharmacist
  • Qualitative
  • Systematic review
  • Theoretical domains framework

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