International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy

, Volume 35, Issue 6, pp 1120–1129 | Cite as

Women pharmacy consumers’ experiences with weight loss treatment across Victoria, Australia

  • Souhiela Fakih
  • Safeera Y. Hussainy
  • Jennifer L. MarriottEmail author
Research Article


Background Given the role of pharmacy in weight management is increasing, anecdotally weight loss treatments are consumed by more women than men, and there are some causes of overweight and obesity specific to women, it is important that pharmacists provide evidence-based services that consider women’s needs as a basis for a future population based approach. Objectives To determine what weight management options are preferred by women pharmacy consumers, how they feel about pharmacists providing advice in this area, and what they desire in a weight management program. Methods A random sample of women pharmacy consumers were asked to complete a questionnaire in randomly selected pharmacies across Victoria. Questionnaires were self-completed or with assistance from the researcher. Logistic regression analysis was used to determine any significant associations between demographic characteristics and previous weight loss attempts, pharmacy specific outcomes and what women want in their ideal weight management program. Setting Community pharmacies across Victoria, Australia. Main outcome measure The views and opinions of women pharmacy consumers across Victoria regarding pharmacy involvement in weight management and currently available weight management products and/or programs. Results The response rate was high: 86 % (395/460). Approximately 48 % (153/319) of women were in the overweight, obese or severely obese body mass index category (BMI). 71.1 % (281/395) of women had attempted to lose weight in the past. Women in the overweight BMI category were 2.6 times more likely to have attempted to lose weight (95 % CI 1.4, 4.9), and women in the obese BMI category were 10.6 times more likely to have attempted to lose weight (95 % CI 4.1, 27.7) compared to the women with a BMI <25 kg/m2. Approximately 80 % (230/281) of women felt comfortable receiving advice from pharmacists with 42 % (117/281) wanting a pharmacist in their ideal weight management program and 42 % (118/281) wanting their program to be delivered in a pharmacy. Conclusions Women pharmacy consumers used a range of weight management approaches and had mainly positive views about the involvement of pharmacists in their ideal weight management program.


Australia Body weight Community pharmacy services Health knowledge Health services Patient opinion Patient attitude Weight loss Women 



The researchers would like to acknowledge all the women who participated in this study and the community pharmacies who allowed them to survey their consumers. They would also like to thank Ms Jessica Webster for assistance with administering the questionnaire to women and Mr. Neil Diamond for his valuable statistical advice.


This study was funded by the Monash University and the University of Nottingham Research Alliance to be conducted in pharmacies across Victoria.

Conflicts of interest

The author(s) declare(s) that they have no conflicts interest to disclose.

Supplementary material

11096_2013_9835_MOESM1_ESM.doc (262 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 262 kb)


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Copyright information

© Koninklijke Nederlandse Maatschappij ter bevordering der Pharmacie 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Souhiela Fakih
    • 1
  • Safeera Y. Hussainy
    • 1
  • Jennifer L. Marriott
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Centre for Medicine Use and SafetyMonash University, Parkville CampusParkvilleAustralia

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