The professional status of community pharmacists: an exploration of the perceptions of community pharmacists and the general public

  • Adam Turner

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


Professionalism has often been a difficult concept to define or describe but researchers agree that it is an important trait to maintain professional status within society. Professional status is attained through a process of professionalisation, it can be lost through a process of deprofessionalisation and can be re-attained through reprofessionalisation. Despite being considered a profession by some researchers, others have argued that pharmacy has failed to fully professionalise with some labelling it a ‘quasi-profession’. Some scholars believe that the future of community pharmacy may rely on service provision and that this is essential to reprofessionalise pharmacy. Given the uncertainty of current professional status, a mixed methods approach was used to explore the views and opinions of the general public, pharmacists and pharmacy leaders on matters relating to professional status. The thesis presents three studies: a qualitative study with pharmacy leaders; a mixed methods study comprising a questionnaire with members of the general public in England and a further mixed methods study comprising a questionnaire with pharmacists. The qualitative study with pharmacy leaders gave an insight into pharmacy leaders’ views and opinions relating to public understanding of pharmacy, professionalism and professional status. This informed the development of the questionnaires used for the subsequent two studies. The questionnaires identified differing public understanding and opinions on pharmacists and matters relating to professional status. Differences were also identified between the general public and pharmacists on these matters. Finally, the qualitative stage offered further exploration and clarification of findings discovered from the questionnaire data. Recommendations about understanding current public opinion of pharmacists may help further clarify the current professional status of community pharmacy.
Date of Award2017
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorJoe Bush (Supervisor) & Chris Langley (Supervisor)


  • professionalism
  • pharmacists
  • general public
  • survey methodology
  • United Kingdom

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