A rapid realist review of community pharmacy support for the public health agenda during the COVID-19 pandemic and future health emergencies

  • Funded by Department of Health and Social Care / National Institute for Health and Care Research (DHSC-NIHR), UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)
  • Total publications:0 publications

Grant number: MR/V021206/1

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Key facts

  • Disease

  • Start & end year

  • Known Financial Commitments (USD)

  • Funder

    Department of Health and Social Care / National Institute for Health and Care Research (DHSC-NIHR), UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)
  • Principle Investigator

  • Research Location

    United Kingdom, Europe
  • Lead Research Institution

    Aston University
  • Research Category

    Health Systems Research

  • Research Subcategory

    Health service delivery

  • Special Interest Tags


  • Study Subject


  • Clinical Trial Details


  • Broad Policy Alignment


  • Age Group


  • Vulnerable Population


  • Occupations of Interest



Background: Community pharmacy has a key role in the current COVID-19 pandemic; this includes mass vaccination, medication supply and providing advice. A realist review is ideally suited to making sense of complex situations such as how community pharmacy can most effectively support the challenges presented by COVID-19. This rapid realist review will use secondary data with input from key stakeholders.Aim: To understand how and when community pharmacy can effectively support the public health agenda in during pandemics such as COVID-19.Method:The realist review contains six stages to develop the programme theory:1. Focussing the research question to identify key priorities, such as supporting mass vaccination.2. Developing initial programme theory, a 'rough and ready' explanation for what needs to be done, by whom, how and why, and in what contexts.3. Developing the search strategy, to rapidly identify academic literature from relevant databases.4. Selection and appraisal of documents based on rigour and relevance.5. Data analysis/synthesis to develop and refine the programme theory.6. Data from the analysis will be used to identify: mechanisms that need to be 'triggered', and related contexts so that community pharmacy can support the public health agenda. Practice guidance, underpinned by the programme theory, will be produced.Key stakeholder input on the initial and evolving programme theory, and the guidance developed will be obtained.Dissemination: Results will be shared with patients, policy-makers and clinicians. Guidelines will be rapidly disseminated via established and evolving links with key professional bodies.