Health promotion at Swedish pharmacies – views of the staff

  • Ingeborg Bjorkman
  • Nina Viberg
  • Linda Rydberg
  • Cecilia Stalsby Lundborg
Keywords: Public Health Practice, Community Pharmacy Services, Professional Practice, Sweden


The role of pharmacy has changed dramatically during the last decades, which has led to new demands on pharmacy personnel.

Objective: This study aims at exploring the attitudes of Swedish pharmacy personnel on their role as public health promoters and to look at the opportunities and obstacles they identify in the efforts to widen the pharmacy remit to include a wider health approach.

Method: Eight focus group discussions were conducted with a strategic sample of pharmacy personnel working in two counties in Sweden. The discussions were transcribed verbatim and analysed by qualitative inductive analysis.

Results: Five themes were identified, “Pharmacy activities impact on public health”, “The employer, Apoteket AB”, “The new role welcomed”, “Obstacles in the new role”, and “Need of change and support”.

Conclusion: The concept of pharmacy personnel as public health promoters was not initially in the mindset of the participants. In the process of discussion, the impact of traditional pharmacy practice as well as new pharmacy based initiatives on public health gradually became more obvious to them. The findings show a pharmacy staff involved in a process of change. The participants have not yet landed in their new role as public health promoters and the study shows that practical as well as conceptual support is needed in order for pharmacy personnel to play a more important role in public health.


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