A systems approach to the perception of the integration of public health into pharmacy practice: A qualitative study

Warren, Robin, Young, Louise, Carlisle, Karen, Heslop, Ian, and Glass, Beverley (2023) A systems approach to the perception of the integration of public health into pharmacy practice: A qualitative study. Exploratory Research in Clinical and Social Pharmacy, 10. 100279.

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Background: Pharmacists, as health professionals, are ideally positioned to support the health and wellbeing of populations, in addition to their role of providing individualised health care.

Objective: The aim of this study was to explore current opinion on the contribution of pharmacists to public health and how this may be enhanced to positively impact public health indicators.

Methods: A total of 24 pharmacists from Australia, United Kingdom, Canada and the United States of America, and Australian public health professionals and consumers participated in semi-structured interviews between January and October 2021. Interpretive thematic analysis was applied with coding of transcripts using the constant comparison method. Themes were developed and named in accordance with Bronfenbrenner’s ecological theory of development.

Results: Pharmacists contribute to public health and have important roles in health education and illness prevention services. Strong enablers in community pharmacy include trust by consumers and ease of accessibility to pharmacists. Pharmacists are viewed as leaders in communities and contribute to the health system broadly in areas such as medication policy and public health organisations.

Participants suggested that pharmacist contributions to public health are often unrecognized by the pharmacy profession, health professionals and consumers, and could be developed to allow effective contributions. Strategies to improve pharmacist contributions included clarifying public health-related terminology, increased development of pharmacy roles and reform for community pharmacies to participate in health prevention and promotion services. Integration of public health in pharmacy education, professional development, and recognition of pharmacy roles across all system levels were also identified as important.

Conclusions: The study indicated that pharmacists currently contribute to the improvement of public health. However, development strategies are required for this to be more effective in integrating public health approaches into their professional practice to be recognized for their public health-related roles.

Item ID: 79298
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2667-2766
Keywords: Pharmacy, Public health, Bronfenbrenner's ecological theory, Health promotion, Illness prevention
Copyright Information: This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).
Date Deposited: 11 Jul 2023 00:36
FoR Codes: 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4206 Public health > 420699 Public health not elsewhere classified @ 50%
32 BIOMEDICAL AND CLINICAL SCIENCES > 3214 Pharmacology and pharmaceutical sciences > 321403 Clinical pharmacy and pharmacy practice @ 50%
SEO Codes: 20 HEALTH > 2003 Provision of health and support services > 200399 Provision of health and support services not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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