I am Professor of Mental Health at Griffith University and a proud Kiwi who has enjoyed living and working in Australia since 2010. I am a registered pharmacist, a globally renowned leader in mental health, pharmacy practice and person-centred care. My passion for health reform and equitable healthcare, especially regarding mental health and well-being, has been a key driver in my research. I have led a range of federally funded research projects that have contributed to improving health service provision and policy through legislative change and developing person-centred, goal-oriented medication management services to improve health outcomes and quality and safe use of medicines. This work has been recognised with my appointment as Ambassador, Equally Well Australia (2021).
Title: More than medication: Wellbeing goal planning between mental health consumers and community pharmacists
Author(s): Victoria Stewart, Sara McMillan, Fiona Kelly, Amanda Wheeler
Introduction: Goal planning is commonly used within mental health care to promote behaviour change. Still, little is known about the types of goals developed by service users working with community pharmacists. This study utilised goal data from the Mental Health in Community Pharmacy (MHCP) research project in which pharmacists (n=142) were trained to provide a person-centred and flexible medication support service to consumers experiencing anxiety and/or depression (n=350). The MHCP service aimed to promote consumer wellbeing and manage medication-related problems through dialogue, goal planning and partnerships.
Method: Goals were categorised using a systematic process and a taxonomy developed to comprehend the range and types of goals identified. Consumer feedback was obtained at the completion of the service.
Results & Findings: A goal taxonomy was developed comprising five domains that demonstrated the range and breadth of consumer-generated goals. These included: ‘Improved health’, ‘Satisfaction with life’, ‘Manage physical health’, ‘Manage mental health, and ‘Use of medicines’. Consumers valued the service's individualised and person-centred aspects, and the intervention's relational aspects were highly regarded. Consumers also reported that the MHCP service increased their understanding of their health, confidence in self-managing their health conditions, motivation to make healthy behaviour changes and awareness of health supports available in their local community.
Discussion: Findings identified that the community pharmacists were able to provide a broad range of support to consumers with diverse wellbeing and medication-related goals. Many of the goals prioritised by consumers were related to social outcomes (e.g., relationships, leisure) and outcomes for these goals are rarely captured by clinical measurement tools. Community pharmacies may provide a safe health space for mental health consumers, and further research is needed to explore the role of pharmacists in addressing broader social determinants of health.