Views on the role of community pharmacy in local communities: a case study of stakeholders’ attitudes
Objectives: To investigate the view of the role of community pharmacy by selected stakeholders in local Danish communities.
Methods: A mixed method approach combining qualitative and quantitative methods was used: observations at pharmacies, questionnaires for pharmacy staff and customers, and interviews with pharmacy owners, general practitioners (GPs) and politicians. Role theory was the theoretical foundation. Data was analyzed using directed content analysis and descriptive statistics.
Results: Five Danish towns were visited, resulting in five pharmacist interviews, 48 questionnaire replies from pharmacy staff, 59 customer interviews, three GP interviews and four interviews with local politicians. All stakeholders found the pharmacy to have a medical focus, although to a differing degree. While pharmacy staff and GPs had the greatest knowledge and expectations regarding the pharmacy staff’s level of medical knowledge, local politicians had the least. Pharmacy staff wanted to take on more responsibility. Customers generally considered the pharmacy part of the healthcare sector with a high level of knowledge on medications. GPs’ attitudes appeared to be related to the amount of communication between GP office and pharmacy. Local politicians interviewed did not seem to be aware of the competencies within the pharmacy, but once informed were open to using the pharmacy as an integrated part of the local healthcare system.
Conclusions: There was general consensus between stakeholder groups that medicine is the main area of focus at the pharmacy. However, investigated stakeholders did not appear to be aware of the full extent of the competencies within the pharmacy, and there was a general lack of consensus about the services the pharmacy should perform. If the competencies within the pharmacy are to be fully utilized, the pharmacy must not only tell but also show the local community what they can do.
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