Mental health training programs for community pharmacists, pharmacy staff and students: A systematic review

Carmen Crespo-Gonzalez, Sarah Dineen-Griffin, John Rae, Rodney A. Hill

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
16 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Background

Primary care is often the first point of contact for people living with mental disorders. Community pharmacists, pharmacy staff and students are increasingly being trained to deliver mental health care. However, there is still a gap in the literature exploring the characteristics of all available mental health training programs and their components and their influence on pharmacists, pharmacy staff and students’ outcomes.

Objectives

To summarize the evidence evaluating mental health training programs completed by community pharmacists, pharmacy staff and students. More specifically, to explore the components of mental health training programs and identify those that facilitate significant improvements in outcomes.

Methods

A systematic review was conducted following the Cochrane handbook and reported according to PRISMA guidelines. A search for published literature was conducted in three databases (PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Science) in July 2021. Eligible studies were included if they described and evaluated the impact of mental health training programs delivered to community pharmacists, pharmacy staff and pharmacy students regardless of design or comparator. The methodological quality of included studies was appraised using both the NIH quality assessment, to evaluate studies with an uncontrolled pre-post design, and the Cochrane EPOC risk of bias assessment, to evaluate studies with a controlled (randomized and non-randomized) study design.

Results

Thirty-three studies were included. Most of the identified mental health training programs contained knowledge-based components and active learning activities. Changes in participants' attitudes, stigma, knowledge, confidence and skills were frequently assessed. An extensive range of self-assessment and observational instruments used to evaluate the impact of the training programs were identified. Positive improvements in participants’ attitudes, knowledge and stigma were frequently identified following participation in training programs.

Conclusions

This systematic review highlights the importance of mental health training programs in increasing pharmacists', pharmacy staff and pharmacy students’ skills and confidence to deliver mental health care in community pharmacy. Future research should build upon this basis and further focus on finding the most efficient measures to evaluate these training programs and assess their long-term effectiveness, allowing comparison between programs.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages16
JournalResearch in Social and Administrative Pharmacy
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022

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