Helpful advice and hidden expertize: pharmacy users' experiences of community pharmacy accessibility

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Abstract

Background

In recent years community pharmacies have emerged as strategically important settings to deliver services aimed at promoting public health. In order to develop evidence-based approaches to public health interventions that exploit the unique accessibility of community pharmacies, it is important to determine how people experience care in this context. This study, therefore, aimed to describe how care is perceived and experienced in community pharmacies with particular focus on community pharmacy access.

Methods

In-depth semi-structured interviews were used to explore the perceptions and experiences' of people using community pharmacies.

Results

A total of 30 participants were interviewed. Themes specifically emerged in relation to community pharmacy access; these fell into four main categories: relationships; time; lack of awareness; and empowerment.

Conclusions

The experience of developing a trusting relationship with the pharmacist is an important consideration in the context of community pharmacy accessibility. This could be an important consideration when a person uses a community pharmacy to access a public health service. There is also a perceived lack of awareness among the general public about the extended role of community pharmacy; this is a potential barrier toward people using them.

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