Background Skin disease can have a huge impact on quality of life for patients and their families. Nurses have an important role in the delivery of specialist dermatology services, and prescribing enhances the care they provide. The views of dermatology patients about nurse prescribing are unknown.
Objectives To explore the views of dermatology patients about nurse prescribing, and its impact on medicines management and concordance.
Methods Semistructured interviews were undertaken with a consecutive sample of 42 patients with acne, psoriasis or eczema who attended the clinics of seven dermatology specialist nurse prescribers. Primary and secondary care clinics were included to reflect settings in which nurses typically prescribe for patients within specialist dermatology services in England. Interviews addressed the effects of nurse prescribing on care, the patient’s medicine regimen, involvement in treatment decisions and concordance, and influences on medicine taking.
Results Patients believed that nurse prescribing improved access to, and efficiency of, dermatology services. Great value was placed on telephone contact with nurses, and local access. Information exchange and involvement in treatment decisions ensured that treatment plans were appropriate and motivated adherence. Nurses’ specialist knowledge, interactive and caring consultation style, and continuity of care improved confidence in the nurse and treatment concordance.
Conclusions Nurse prescribing can increase the efficiency of dermatology services. Patients experienced active involvement in decisions about their treatment which in turn contributed to concordance and adherence to treatment regimens. This study has important implications for maximizing resource use and improving access to and quality of care in dermatology specialist services.