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Acceptability of a proposed practice pharmacist-led review for opioid-treated patients with persistent pain: A qualitative study to inform intervention development

Cornwall, Nicola, Woodcock, Charlotte, Ashworth, Julie, Harrisson, Sarah A, Dikomitis, Lisa, White, Simon, Helliwell, Toby, Hodgson, Eleanor, Knaggs, Roger, Pincus, Tamar, and others. (2023) Acceptability of a proposed practice pharmacist-led review for opioid-treated patients with persistent pain: A qualitative study to inform intervention development. British Journal of Pain, . ISSN 2049-4637. (doi:10.1177/20494637231221688) (KAR id:104893)



Regular review of patients prescribed opioids for persistent non-cancer pain (PCNP) is recommended but not routinely undertaken. The PROMPPT (Proactive clinical Review of patients taking Opioid Medicines long-term for persistent Pain led by clinical Pharmacists in primary care Teams) research programme aims to develop and test a pharmacist-led pain review (PROMPPT) to reduce inappropriate opioid use for persistent pain in primary care. This study explored the acceptability of the proposed PROMPPT review to inform early intervention development.


Interviews (n = 15) and an online discussion forum (n = 31) with patients prescribed opioids for PCNP and interviews with pharmacists (n = 13), explored acceptability of a proposed PROMPPT review. A prototype PROMPPT review was then tested and refined through 3 iterative cycles of in-practice testing (IPT) (n = 3 practices, n = 3 practice pharmacists, n = 13 patients). Drawing on the Theoretical Framework of Acceptability (TFA), a framework was generated (including a priori TFA constructs) allowing for deductive and inductive thematic analysis to identify aspects of prospective and experienced acceptability.


Patients felt uncertain about practice pharmacists delivering the proposed PROMPPT review leading to development of content for the invitation letter for IPT (introducing the pharmacist and outlining the aim of the review). After IPT, patients felt that pharmacists were suited to the role as they were knowledgeable and qualified. Pharmacists felt that the proposed reviews would be challenging. Although challenges were experienced during delivery of PROMPPT reviews, pharmacists found that they became easier to deliver with time, practise and experience. Recommendations for optimisations after IPT included development of the training to include examples of challenging consultations.


Uptake of new healthcare interventions is influenced by perceptions of acceptability. Exploring prospective and experienced acceptability at multiple time points during early intervention development, led to mini-optimisations of the prototype PROMPPT review ahead of a non-randomised feasibility study.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1177/20494637231221688
Projects: PROMPPT programme
Uncontrolled keywords: Chronic pain, pain management, acceptability, primary care, opioids, pharmacists
Subjects: R Medicine
R Medicine > RM Therapeutics. Pharmacology
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Natural Sciences > Kent and Medway Medical School
Funders: National Institute for Health Research (
Depositing User: Manfred Gschwandtner
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2024 19:10 UTC
Last Modified: 13 Feb 2024 11:53 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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