International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy

, Volume 41, Issue 2, pp 478–487 | Cite as

Community pharmacists’ opinions and practice of pharmaceutical care at chain pharmacy and independent pharmacy in China

  • Xiaoyu Xi
  • Yuankai Huang
  • Qianni Lu
  • Carolina Oi Lam Ung
  • Hao HuEmail author
Research Article


Background Whether Chinese community pharmacists in chain pharmacies and independent pharmacies provide the same type and quality of pharmaceutical care has not been fully investigated. Objective This study aimed to investigate community pharmacists’ understanding, attitude, practice and perceived barriers of pharmaceutical care at chain pharmacies and independent pharmacies in China. Setting Community pharmacies in China. Method A questionnaire survey was conducted in 27 provinces (autonomous regions) and 4 municipality cities in China. Main outcome measure Chinese community pharmacists’ understanding, attitude, practice and perceived barriers of pharmaceutical care. Results The respondent pharmacists’ understanding of pharmaceutical care was only moderate, though they showed a positive attitude towards providing the service. The respondent pharmacists from both chain and independent pharmacies provided more basic pharmaceutical service than advanced pharmaceutical care. Regarding barriers to providing pharmaceutical care, the respondent pharmacists identified the main barriers as a lack of physical space, slow introduction of pharmacist law, lack of patient acceptance of pharmaceutical care, and lack of face-to-face communication with patients. Pharmacists at chain pharmacies had a better understanding of and attitude toward pharmaceutical care and practiced more advanced pharmaceutical care than pharmacists at independent pharmacies. Conclusion Chinese community pharmacists’ understanding and practice of pharmaceutical care in China needs improvement. Compared with pharmacists at chain pharmacies, pharmacists at independent pharmacies face more challenges in providing pharmaceutical care. Specific efforts should be made to improve pharmacist competence, increase patient acceptance and shape a better operative environment for community pharmacies, especially for independent pharmacies.


Chain pharmacy China Community pharmacist Community pharmacy Independent pharmacy Pharmaceutical care 



The authors thank all the data collection assistants who provided help in data collection.


The authors received no specific funding for this work.

Conflicts of interest

All the authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 18 kb)
11096_2019_802_MOESM2_ESM.docx (21 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 22 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Development Research Center of Licensed PharmacistChina Pharmaceutical UniversityNanjingChina
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory of Quality Research in Chinese Medicine, Institute of Chinese Medical SciencesUniversity of MacauTaipaChina

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