Community pharmacists' engagement with public health in Great Britain

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Objective - The objective of the research was to examine to what extent community pharmacists in Great Britain believed that their job was concerned with local public health issues.
Methods - The project (Pharmacy and Public Health)received ethical approval from the Research Ethics Committee of the School of Life and Health Sciences at Aston University. After piloting, in August 2006 a self-completion postal questionnaire was sent to practicing community pharmacists in Great Britain (n=1998), with a follow-up to non-responders 4 weeks later. A final response rate of 51% (n=1023/1998) was achieved.
Results - Respondents were asked to indicate their answer to the question “to what extent is your present job concerned with local public health issues?” on a three-point scale – “highly”, “slightly” or “not at all” concerned with public health. They were also asked to indicate whether they were pharmacy owners, employee pharmacists or self-employed locum pharmacists. Less than half (43%,n=384/898) of respondents answering both questions believed that their job was highly concerned with public health. A relationship was observed between employment status and the level to which a respondent believed that their job was concerned with public health (chi-square test with P=0.001). Over half of pharmacy owners (51%, n=68/134) considered that their job was highly concerned with public health compared to44% (n=193/443) of employee pharmacists and38% (n=123/321) of locum pharmacists.
Conclusion - This research suggests that community pharmacists in Great Britain are not ‘fully engaged’ with public health. Pharmacy owners may feel more enfranchised in the public health movement than their employees and locums. Indeed, one-in-ten locums reported that their job was not at all concerned with public health which, as locum pharmacists constitute over a third of actively employed community pharmacists, could be limiting factor in any drive to strengthen the public health function of community pharmacists.



Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Event16th International Social Pharmacy Workshop - Lisbon, Portugal
Duration: 23 Aug 201026 Aug 2010


Conference16th International Social Pharmacy Workshop
Abbreviated titleISPW

Bibliographic note

Abstract published in Pharmacy Practice, 8 (Suppl.1), p.90. ISSN 1886-3655.

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