Journal of Primary Health Care Journal of Primary Health Care Society
Journal of The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners
RESEARCH ARTICLE (Open Access)

“Basically you wait for an ‘in’’’: community pharmacist views on their role in weight management in New Zealand

Lesley Gray 1 , Rachel Chamberlain 2 , Caroline Morris 1
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

1 Department of Primary Health Care & General Practice, University of Otago, Wellington, New Zealand

2 Bachelor of Dental Surgery Student, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand

Correspondence to: Lesley Gray, Department of Primary Health Care & General Practice, Te Tari Hauora Matamua me te Matauranga Rata Whanau, School of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Otago, Wellington, PO Box 7343, Wellington, New Zealand. Email: lesley.gray@otago.ac.nz

Journal of Primary Health Care 8(4) 365-371 https://doi.org/10.1071/HC16026
Published: 21 December 2016

Journal Compilation © Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners 2016.
This is an open access article licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION: Obesity is now widely regarded as the main contributor to poor health globally, overtaking tobacco as the leading potentially modifiable risk to health. Community pharmacists are delivering an increasing number of extended services and are potentially well placed to contribute to obesity management strategies. No studies to date have investigated the views of community pharmacists in New Zealand about their role in weight management.

AIM: To explore the views of community pharmacists in one region of New Zealand about their role in weight management, including the perceived barriers and facilitators to their involvement.

METHODS: Qualitative, face-to-face, semi-structured interviews were undertaken with 11 community pharmacists from the Greater Wellington region. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and analysed thematically using an inductive approach.

RESULTS: Four key themes were identified from data analysis. These were: (i) perceptions of obesity; (ii) perceptions of weight management treatment options; (iii) the unique position of the community pharmacist; and (iv) barriers to involvement. The main barriers described included: (i) a lack of time and remuneration; (ii) the absence of an appropriate space within the pharmacy to discuss weight-related matters; (iii) and a lack of awareness of who to contact for specialist support.

DISCUSSION: Community pharmacists in Greater Wellington believe that they have a distinct role in their local community and can contribute to a multidisciplinary approach to reduce levels of obesity. Further work is required to determine the most appropriate role for community pharmacy in weight management and the training needs for pharmacy staff to optimally fulfil this role.

KEYWORDS: Community pharmacy; obesity; pharmacist; primary health care; weight management; multidisciplinary


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