Herbal and dietary supplements (HDS) can cause adverse effects or interact with diseases and medications. Community pharmacists have a role in ensuring the safe use of HDS, but they have been reported to not being proactive in providing pharmacist care (PCare) for HDS users. The reasons for this warranted investigation. The study aimed to explore pharmacists’ understanding of PCare for HDS users, and to investigate the underlying beliefs or factors influencing its provision by community pharmacists, guided by the theory of planned behaviour.
A qualitative study using a semi‐structured interview guide was conducted in a purposive sample of community pharmacists working in Bangkok, Thailand, from December 2016 to June 2017. All interviews were audio‐recorded, transcribed and analysed using qualitative content analysis.
Twenty‐two pharmacists were interviewed. Several professional pharmacy activities were regarded as PCare for HDS users. The pharmacists reported that the provision of such care was advantageous in terms of promoting rational use of HDS, ensuring safety of users, enhancing own knowledge and promote customers’ loyalty. Facilitators for PCare included the initiation of conversation about HDS by the users, professional training and the availability of reference materials. The reluctance of HDS users to accept pharmacists’ opinions, insufficient education in HDS and limited sources of information were identified as barriers. Most pharmacists believed that PCare for HDS users is part of their responsibilities.
The pharmacists expressed their views on the meaning of PCare for HDS users, and described the beliefs and factors that facilitate or impede its provision. Information from this study can be used to inform strategies that can promote pharmacists to become more proactive in providing PCare for HDS users.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.