Pharmacies are one of the main sources of complementary medicines and pharmacy customers often turn to pharmacists for advice on the use of CMs. However, one of the greatest barriers facing pharmacists, pharmacy students and pharmacy assistants is in is knowing where to locate existing, quality evidence on a product from which they would be able to determine whether readily available, commercially prepared complementary products are safe and efficacious to recommend.
Imagine a customer has come into the pharmacy saying that they have heard reports from the media and some friends about (Nature’s Own EQ Control) product to assist them in the treatment or management of a particular condition. They want to know – Would you recommend Nature’s Own EQ Control Formula for anxiety & stress?
For this assignment, students will conduct and provide a critical appraisal of a specific commercially prepared, complementary medicine product for a specific indication. This will be presented as a written evidence-based report.
Students will each be allocated a product that is readily available in Australian community pharmacies and a specific intended use for that product to review. Students should then research and evaluate the product and its contents. Based on this analysis, students should provide recommendations as to the rational use and place in therapy for this particular product for the specified indication. This should be presented as an argument supported by evidence and critical reasoning. The report should end with a final summary written in patient-appropriate language, detailing how you would explain your findings & recommendations to the customer. The written report will be supported by a brief oral presentation that summarises the critique and recommendations for use of the product in clinical practice.
Report should include the following sections:
1. Brief Product Overview.(Nature’s Own EQ Control)
2. Critical Appraisal & Review of the Product for Specified Indication.
3. Academic Conclusion.
4. Conclusion or Recommendations for Customer.
(A) Brief Product Overview including the following details:
1- Trade name and manufacturer name for (Nature’s Own EQ Control)
2- List of ingredients in product including dose / tablet and dose per day, Indications and any product claims listed on the packaging
3- Commercial product image.
(B)-Critical Appraisal and Review of the Product.
Students are expected to evaluate the literature and evidence and submit a critical appraisal that defines whether their allocated product is appropriate for clinical use and has a place in therapy for a specified condition or indication. It is expected that this section of the report will contain cited information that can be traced to its source via the reference list.
This review of the literature is not a mere presentation of facts. Students are expected to organise and critically analyse the information they have sourced and draw a logical and relevant conclusion or argument based on their analysis.
Some use of tables to summarise information is acceptable, provided that the information is clear and cited appropriately.
It is important to use credible scientific reference sources for papers, generally books, peer- reviewed journals and reports. Lecture notes and consumer sites are not considered valid or appropriate references for this assignment. You may use manufacturer information to support some components of the presentation, but not to support evidence of clinical benefit as this may be biased. See notes on references later in this document.
Factors that could be considered in this section include:
1- Product indications and place of therapy according to packaging. If this is
unclear, this may be due to regulatory reasons, but can still be commented on.
2- Clinical evidence to support use of the ingredient(s) in this product for this indication or condition.
3- Evidence of benefit at the dose of different ingredients as well as product overall for the product indications, according to evidence.
4- Whether the combination of ingredients is rational and appropriate, including reasoning.
5- Whether the indications for which the product is promoted on the packaging is appropriate based on evidence (do the ingredients match the ‘marketing’?).
6- Comment on whether the specified indication seems viable, based on evidence and the combination of ingredients.
7- Any other factors or considerations considered relevant to this product.
8- Do you think the key ingredient(s) in another product or brand available in another form, dosage or combination would be a better suggestion?
(C)- Academic Conclusion
• The critique should conclude with a persuasive argument, supported by evidence and critical reasoning as to recommendations regarding use of this product in clinical practice. The main points discussed in the body of the paper are summarised in the conclusion.
• Do not cite any new information in the conclusion.
•The conclusion is understood to be the student’s educated opinion and ideas based on what they have discovered, analysed and evaluated. However, this must still be written objectively in the third person.
• The research report should be written using a professional, scientific style using correct academic terminology
• Use Australian English spelling, not American spelling
• Preferably use shorter clearer sentences rather than long wordy sentences and paragraphs
•Avoid use of descriptive, emotive or casual words such as “alarming”, “surprising”, “fantastic breakthrough” “This is really exciting stuff” etc
•Write in the 3rd person, not the 1st person – For example do not say “In my opinion….” rather say “Based on evidence …..” etc.
(D) – Conclusion or Recommendation for Customer
• Your Academic conclusion should then be re-worded in patient- appropriate language as a brief summary of how you would explain your findings and recommendations to answer the customer’s initial query i.e. Would you recommend it for the condition/indication that they want to use it for? Write this final summary in first person as if you are speaking directly to the customer. You are stating your educated opinion and the challenge here is to be able to do that in first person whilst still being clear that you are answering the query objectively based on clinical reasoning and evidence i.e. “Based on the current evidence, I would/would not suggest/recommend…..etc.” Be realistic and practical about the amount of information you provide here – be succinct and clear with the customer.
•Font: Use size 12 font in Times New Roman,
• Line Spacing: Use 1.5 line spacing
• Line Justification: Lines of text should be ‘left justified’, including the references.
• Margins: Allow margins of 2.5 cm at the top, bottom and sides of your page.
• Page Numbering: Page numbers need to be started sequentially on the first page of the body of the assignment (after title page) •Headings and subheadings: These should be used consistently
throughout the research paper using decimal numbering: (e.g. 1.0, 1.1, 1.1.1 etc)
• Use Vancouver referencing style for the assignment
• In-text citations should be used correctly referenced and formatted according to Vancouver referencing guidelines throughout the document, and a list of references
should be included at the end of the report, starting on a new page.
• URLs should not be used as citations in the body of the assignment. If URLs are given on the reference list, these should be presented in black, and should not be underlined or hyperlinked.
• use 15 credible scientific reference sources from (2007-2015) (9 sources will be provided) the writer should use all of them plus 6 credible sources
• DO NOT use the Natural Medicine database grading system as justification for your decisions, nor reference directly to the database. Reference to the original journal articles or review papers. Please also note that the database may not always include the most up- to-date research on all ingredients. Search more widely than just the database and apply your own critical thinking to your recommendations.
• Please note that your lecture notes and consumer sites are not considered valid or
appropriate references for this assignment. You may use manufacturer information to support some components of the presentation, but not to support evidence of clinical benefit as this may be biased.
The assignment must be
1- Content :
Comprehensive, insightful, evidence-based report on allocated product.
Excellent understanding and critical appraisal of literature and application to specific indication in clinical practice.
Argument and recommendations clear, well structured and persuasive and well supported by evidence and critical reasoning. Excellent patient summary – clear and concise with patient- appropriate language used to explain recommendations & clinical reasoning.
2- Organisation and formatting
All information is well organized and demonstrates cohesion with a logical flow and excellent development of ideas and argument. Well-constructed paragraphs
Formatting correct, well presented and including all required components – neat and professional presentation.
Report within word count (< or > 10%)
3- Language, grammar, spelling punctuation
Excellent use of English language that enhances content. Language style professional, with no use of inappropriate terminology. Consistent accuracy in grammar, spelling, punctuation and expression
4- Use of Information sources, citation and referencing
Good paraphrasing throughout and no over- use of quotes. Excellent use of a wide range of relevant recent sources of information to support argument. All information correctly cited. All citations in reference list. Accurate use of Vancouver -style referencing
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