Consumer-pharmacist interactions around Complementary Medicines: agreement between pharmacist and consumer expectations, satisfaction and pharmacist influence

Sophia Tran, Jean-Pierre Calabretto, Michael Sorich

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    17 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Objective To explore pharmacist-consumer interactions around the use of complementary medicines (CMs), with specific focus on consumer expectations, perceptions and satisfaction. Methods Twenty pharmacists and 20 healthcare consumers were recruited across 16 metropolitan community pharmacies in Adelaide, Australia, from June to August 2011. Semi-structured interviews containing comparable questions for both study groups were used. Data was transcribed and analysed with the aid of AutoMap®. Key findings There was high consumer satisfaction with pharmacists as CM providers, which was in agreement with pharmacist's perceptions of consumer satisfaction. However, this was against a background of low consumer expectations and pharmacists' dissatisfaction with their own role in the interaction. Consumers often perceived pharmacy-stocked CMs to be more effective and safer compared to those in supermarkets or health food shops, but this perception was not shared by pharmacists. Pharmacists believed they had significant influence around recommendation and use of CMs, whereas consumers perceived a more limited influence. Both pharmacists and consumers shared similar perceptions of CM safety and similar expectations regarding business influence and professional pressures on information provision. Conclusion Behind a perception of high satisfaction, consumers have low expectations of pharmacists around provision of CM-related information. Further work is required to improve pharmacists' knowledge and confidence around CM use and to address barriers such as the tension between potentially competing business pressures and professional responsibilities.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)378-385
    Number of pages8
    JournalInternational Journal of Pharmacy Practice
    Volume21
    Issue number6
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013

    Keywords

    • complementary medicines
    • consumer expectation
    • consumer satisfaction
    • interviews
    • pharmacist influence
    • qualitative research

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