Development of Community Pharmacy Characteristics Questionnaire: Application of Cognitive Interviewing

  • Megan Smith University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
  • Stefanie Ferreri University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy
  • Rachel Stafford University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
  • Benjamin Teeter University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
  • Kea Turner University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health
  • Stevie Veach University of Iowa College of Pharmacy
  • Christopher Shea University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health
Keywords: community pharmacy, surveys and questionnaires, cognitive interviewing



Background: A questionnaire specific to community pharmacy characteristics, such as staffing models for clinical activities and business operations, does not exist.  As community pharmacy practice expands, it is important to characterize how pharmacies are changing for outcomes research. The aim of this study was to conduct cognitive interviewing with community pharmacists to gain feedback on the formatting, readability, and content of items measuring community pharmacy characteristics to develop such a questionnaire.

Methods: National surveys and previously developed survey work were reviewed to identify the following question categories: business operations, human resource management, division of clinical responsibilities, technology, and enhanced services.  Questions for each domain were drafted and assessed for applicability across different states and level of importance by researchers in 3 different states. Using the “think aloud” method of cognitive interviewing to evaluate clarity in instructions, question items and response entry, an iterative process was established that included 3 rounds of interviews with discussion and modifications made by the research team between each round.

Results: A total of thirteen cognitive interviews across 3 rounds were conducted via telephone and lasted between 30 and 60 minutes. Time for participant pharmacists to complete the questionnaire ranged from 12 minutes to 30 minutes. The interviews revealed areas of ambiguity, and missing response options for the variety of business structures. The question categories with the most problematic items were business operations, human resource management, and division of clinical responsibilities.

Conclusion: Using cognitive interviewing, a community pharmacy questionnaire focusing on operational characteristics was developed. Future research is warranted to test the organizational characteristics defined in this paper with a larger sample size representing multiple states.

Article Type: Original Research

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Submitted: 2018-05-16
Accepted: 2018-06-21
Published: 2018-10-12
Practice-Based Research