Preventive counselling for public health in pharmacies in South Germany
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Background No overview of preventive health activities conducted by pharmacists in South Germany has been available until now. Moreover, little about the needs of the public is known with regard to pharmacy-based preventive services. Objectives To gain an overview of the preventive health services and campaigns carried out by pharmacists in the federal state of Bavaria, and to assess the interest of the public for pharmacy-based preventive care counselling. Setting Pharmacies in the seven Bavarian administrative districts, South Germany. Methods In September 2010, all 3,470 pharmacies in Bavaria were mailed a questionnaire concerning their preventive health activities. The pharmacists were given the opportunity to complete the questionnaire either online or to mail them in. To assess the needs of pharmacy-based preventive health services in the Bavarian population, customers of 50 pharmacies were invited to fill in an anonymous self-completion questionnaire in March 2011. Main outcome measure Relevant preventive health services which can be provided by pharmacists in order to meet the customers’ needs. Results 519 of 3,470 pharmacies (15.0 %) took part in the survey. 60.5 % (n = 314) conducted at least one preventive health activity in the past and 51.6 % (n = 268) offering a disease prevention education event at least once a year. As a result of the pharmacists’ survey, a ranking list of the most frequent preventive care activities was established. The projects conducted often lacked structured project schedules and evaluations. The survey assessing customer needs was completed by 1,808 customers in 49 of 50 community pharmacies. Pharmacists were identified as the preferred provider in 29 of the 31 preventive care services listed in the questionnaire. A ranking list with the top ten preventive subjects of highest interest was compiled. Conclusions Pharmacists are active in many different prevention subjects and there is a great interest in pharmacy-based preventive care counselling in the Bavarian population. Very few structured, well planned and evaluated preventive projects have been conducted in Bavarian community pharmacies. Further surveys are needed to analyse the benefit of pharmacy-based preventive care counselling for the Bavarian population.
KeywordsCommunity pharmacies Germany Health promotion Health services needs Pharmacy Prevention Preventive health services
The authors acknowledge the support of Luc Besançon, International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP), during our research and for reviewing the draft of this article. The authors would like to thank the staff of WIPIG and Dr. Mirjam Gnadt, Drug Information Centre, Pharmacy Department, Erlangen University Hospital, for assistance during the literature research, for reviewing the questionnaires and the draft of this article. Moreover, the authors thank the 50 pharmacies for collecting the questionnaires from their customers.
This study received funding through the Bavarian Health Promotion Initiative ‘Gesund.Leben.Bayern.’ by the Bavarian State Ministry of Environment and Health.
Conflicts of interest
No conflict of interest to declare.
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