Pharmacy practice is an area of study within health services research that focuses on the role of pharmacists in promoting the safe and effective use of medicines and medical devices. As a result, interventions that focus on optimising the responsible use of medicines are likely to be developed as a core function of pharmacists’ role. Therefore, pharmacy practice research studies come to play and can adopt varied formats, resorting to methodologies used initially in epidemiology, including observational and experimental studies, whilst combining these with methods primarily used in the social sciences. These methodologies enable a more person-centred approach to understanding the experience of people living with illness and relying on medication and medical devices to maintain their health and well-being.
Gaining in-depth knowledge in health services research is essential for pharmacy doctorates to develop their research projects by selecting the most appropriate methodologies for reviewing state of the art in their areas of interest, selecting suitable study designs, collecting and analysing data emerging and producing high-quality evidence that supports the advancement of this area of practice.