Nosrgaard, Lotte S., Morgall, Janine M. and Bissell, Paul (2000) Arguments for theory-based Pharmacy Practice research. International Journal of Pharmacy Practice, 8 (2). pp. 77-81. ISSN 0961-7671

The aim of this discussion paper is to argue for the relevance of theory use in Pharmacy Practice research and to stimulate debate about the quality and relevance of research carried out in this field. A general definition of the concept of “theory” is provided, and the paper discusses the advantages of theory-based Pharmacy Practice research. The number and range of theories useful for Pharmacy Practice research are enormous and varied, originating from such fields as sociology, psychology, anthropology, pedagogy and health economics. The paper describes how methods that follow specific theories can serve different purposes. We suggest that engaging with theory provides richer and deeper insights into human behaviour and its social context, which can ultimately contribute to dynamism and diversity in Pharmacy Practice research. Examples are presented from projects carried out in the school of pharmacy in Copenhagen and the school of pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences at the University of Manchester in order to illustrate the different functions of theory in Pharmacy Practice research.

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