Reviewer: Dennis K Constan, PharmD (Temple University Health System - Northeastern Hospital)
Description: This book seeks to provide an updated, global overview and history of the factors, concepts, theories, and stakeholders that shape the structure, consumption, and challenges in the provision of pharmaceutical care today. Given the changes in, and further integration of, pharmacy practice services in diverse realms of healthcare, this is a needed update to the 1996 edition.
Purpose: It offers new and seasoned pharmacists a solid, fundamental understanding of the principles that impact contemporary pharmaceutical care decision-making. In an increasingly complex era of healthcare access and financing challenges, drug development, and more knowledgeable healthcare consumers, the book achieves its purpose in providing necessary education for pharmacists and other healthcare providers about issues and concepts that are often discussed only minimally in the structured curricula of their disciplines.
Audience: Although the book is written from a pharmacist's perspective, practitioners and students in any healthcare discipline who wish to learn more about the social and behavioral factors that influence the provision of pharmaceutical care will benefit from reading it. Any practitioner involved at the various stages of the medication use process prescribing, dispensing, or administration may benefit from its discussion and explanation of global concepts. The editors are experienced and accomplished in their respective fields and add complementary perspectives.
Features: The work presents a digestible and understandable overview of theories, concepts, varying perspectives, challenges, and interventions to address the social and behavioral factors that influence healthcare decision-making by consumers. The strength of the book lies in its ability to capture and communicate the spectrum of topics that comprise areas of pharmaceutical care that do not receive much emphasis in either formal or practical pharmacy education. While written from a pharmacist's perspective, the book would serve as a good foundation for any healthcare professional interested in the social/behavioral aspects of healthcare. Overviews of the models and theories of healthcare behavior are particularly interesting. A chapter on death provides a good counterbalance and added understanding of the continuum of the healthcare process. The chapters use a textbook format, with general introductions and chapter-end summaries. The table of contents and index aid in navigating topics and concepts. Simple, schematic-type charts are used to clarify key ideas and information. Considerations for future editions include: additional visual aids, charts, and bullet points to make the book a bit less dry and text heavy; reformatting of the table of contents to omit the subsections that do not help navigation much; streamlining by editing out lengthy chapter introductions about what will be discussed and summary sections that recapitulate what was discussed; a glossary of terms for quick reference; and expanding some of the chapter topics - the concepts of FMEA and RCA with respect to medication errors would benefit from additional detail, example, and discussion.
Assessment: Overall, this book is of high quality, written at an appropriate level for concept overviews, and may be considered a useful tool in introducing the social and behavioral concepts of pharmaceutical and healthcare to students, pharmacists, and other healthcare providers. Given the challenges that exist in providing even basic healthcare and pharmaceutical care to specific constituencies of the underinsured and growing elderly populations, the updates in this edition that include discussions on public policy, epidemiology, and ethical issues are relevant and timely.