Help Us Fight Joint Pain In Community Pharmacy – Become A “PJ Joint Pain Champion”
It is no exaggeration to say that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought immense changes to people’s lives. The lockdown restrictions ushered in a shift from working in the office to working from home, and changes in physical activity levels have seen more people seek help from their community pharmacy for musculoskeletal pain ( MSK) and articular. In fact, a recent survey found that nearly one in three people are now more likely to visit a pharmacy for general advice before seeking help elsewhere.[1,2].
MSK pain can have a substantial effect on quality of life – more than a third of the UK population over the age of 45 has sought treatment for osteoarthritis pain which has worsened mood and disturbed sleep, limiting the activities of daily living. Mobility and function can be quickly lost, especially in the elderly, making it difficult to recover muscle mass and rehabilitate. Patients often feel frustrated and neglected.
There is a clear opportunity for community pharmacy to make a difference in the lives of patients. During a round table on July 10, 2018 organized by The pharmaceutical journal, a group of MS disorder experts – including general practitioners, physiotherapists and dieticians – reached a clear consensus that pharmacy should play a greater role in supporting patients with joint pain.
Community pharmacists and their teams can meet the needs of their patients by guiding pain relief and providing information about joint pain and lifestyle improvements, including exercises that relieve pain and stiffness; it is this self-care model that is most effective for mechanical joint disorders[4,6]. However, we also know that 30% of the 699 pharmacists who responded to a 2018 PJ Investigation found that lack of confidence and knowledge of the proper management of joint pain hampered their ability to provide exceptional patient care.
Pharmaceutical journal has therefore embarked on an exciting journey to develop reliable and easy-to-use resources to guide pharmacy teams through the patient journey, from presentation to management and referral. Our joint pain management pathway highlights important concepts that aid clinical decision making beyond the 7 and 14 day permitted use periods for topical nonsteroidal inflammatory agents, providing evidence-based recommendations and led by experts to continue, stop or escalate treatment.
In March 2021, we launched The Pharmacy Learning Center on Joint Pain, as part of a partnership between Pharmaceutical journal and GSK, to provide free and open resources for pharmacy teams to better serve patients seeking joint pain counseling.
Now we need your help to test our resources and put your learning into practice.
We are looking for enthusiastic community pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and pharmacy assistants who wish to develop specialized expertise in joint pain management in order to provide exceptional patient-centered care to their local population and to promote continuing professional development. in community pharmacy.
You do not need to have prior knowledge or extensive clinical experience, but you will need to see patients with joint pain on a regular basis. We want to hear about your experiences of implementing and adopting the joint pain material into your daily practice, and what can be improved to provide better patient care and support wider adoption in the community pharmacy industry. , as more and more patients start to think “Pharmacy first”.
To express your interest and learn more, please send an email to [email protected] with your name, position, affiliation and contact details. We look forward to working with you.