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Pharmacist participation in health promotion activities : facilitators and barriers

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Howarth, HD ORCID: 0000-0002-5994-2778 2005 , 'Pharmacist participation in health promotion activities : facilitators and barriers', Research Master thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine pharmacists' participation in health promotion activities, particularly those activities undertaken outside the pharmacy. Facilitators and barriers to this participation were determined.
The great majority (80.2%) of Australia's 12 000 pharmacists practise in retail community pharmacies in a profession which is in demand, particularly in rural areas. Traditionally dispensing medications and selling over-the-counter medicines, pharmacists are one of the most accessible groups of health professionals, but the literature suggests that most community pharmacists do not generally participate in health promotion activities outside the pharmacy itself. Health promotion principles should underpin all facets of pharmacy practice but nomenclature confusion and limited definitions of health promotion restrict practice.
Tasmanian and Victorian pharmacists with Tasmanian undergraduate and graduate students were surveyed by anonymous questionnaires. Demographic data, participation in health promotion activities and facilitators and barriers to participation were determined. Quantitative analysis of results was obtained using SPSS-12.1 ©while qualitative data were extracted by themes.
From a total of 458 responses, significant differences in practice were identified between pharmacists in rural and urban practice. Although 42.4% of respondent Tasmania pharmacists and 46.2% of respondent Victorian pharmacists gave community talks in the previous two years, three-quarters of these respondents gave only one to three talks. Fewer (20%) respondents were involved in writing newsletters, with only 5% involved in media presentations. In Tasmania, rural pharmacists gave more community talks while urban pharmacists tended to write newsletters. Victorian urban female practitioners engaged in community activities contributed more than their male colleagues, but for all respondents, age or hours worked did not restrict participation. Facilitators included interest, specific requests and community service. Significant barriers included time constraints for Tasmanian rural pharmacists but also the results revealed that urban pharmacists were not asked to participate. Despite providing more community talks, rural pharmacists were less confident public speakers. All respondents indicated there was lack of understanding of the knowledge and skills a pharmacist could offer and that they were left out of community activities, however most believed that, despite difficulties participating in these activities, it was important for the profession to contribute.
Lack of relevant literature examples and limited opportunities for professional development currently restricts pharmacists' understanding of the extent of health promotion practice. Widening community pharmacists' scope of practice in health promotion outside the four walls of the pharmacy may have important implications for the pharmacy workforce in its continued need to meet future demands.

Item Type: Thesis - Research Master
Authors/Creators:Howarth, HD
Keywords: Pharmacists, Public health, Health education
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2005 the author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s).

Additional Information:

Thesis (MMedSc)--University of Tasmania, 2005. Includes bibliographical references

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