A community pharmacy practice-based research network: A protocol for a realist evaluation

Publication Name

Research in Social and Administrative Pharmacy


Background: Community pharmacists' active participation in research is essential to build a robust, translatable evidence base. Practice-based research networks (PBRNs) have been established to support collaborative research and knowledge translation in community pharmacies. However, PBRNs' effectiveness in supporting research engagement and knowledge translation remains unexplored. A new PBRN will be implemented in southeast Queensland, Australia. This realist evaluation seeks to explain whether, how, why, for whom, in what context and over what duration the PBRN supports community pharmacists to engage in research. Objectives: 1. to generate transferable knowledge about the different circumstances in which—and the mechanisms by which—a PBRN influences research engagement outcomes for different community pharmacists, in the form of a program theory. 2. To use the program theory to develop evidence-informed recommendations for use by PBRN stakeholders. Methods: A realist evaluation will be conducted in four iterative phases: (1) theory development, (2) hypothesis generation, (3) observations, and (4) theory refinement. A two-year multi-method study will be conducted, including interviews with pharmacists, surveys, participatory and observational data collection. The evidence will be used to confirm, refute, and/or refine the program theory. The evaluation will adhere to the Realist And Meta-Narrative Evidence Synthesis (RAMESES) publication and quality standards. Conclusions: The evaluation will contribute to the body of knowledge by generating a realist program theory to explain how, why, for whom, in what contexts, to what extent, in what respects, and over what duration the PBRN supports community pharmacists to engage in research. The findings will support the broader implementation of PBRNs and future network activities.

Open Access Status

This publication is not available as open access

Funding Number


Funding Sponsor

National Health and Medical Research Council



Link to publisher version (DOI)