Original Research

An elderly, urban population: Their experiences and expectations of pharmaceutical services in community pharmacies

Alta Janse van Rensburg, Irma Kotze, Martie S. Lubbe, Marike Cockeran
Health SA Gesondheid | Vol 22 | a1013 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hsag.v22i0.1013 | © 2017 Alta Janse van Rensburg, Irma Kotze, Martie S. Lubbe, Marike Cockeran | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 10 October 2017 | Published: 10 October 2017

About the author(s)

Alta Janse van Rensburg, Faculty of Health Sciences, North West University, South Africa
Irma Kotze, Faculty of Health Sciences, North West University, South Africa
Martie S. Lubbe, Faculty of Health Sciences, North West University, South Africa
Marike Cockeran, Faculty of Health Sciences, North West University, South Africa

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Abstract

Objective: The aim of this study was to determine the pharmaceutical services experiences of an elderly, urban population in relation to their expectations in community pharmacy.

Design: and setting: The study was a cross-sectional descriptive empirical study and was conducted by means of a structured questionnaire, designed and administered by there searcher, in face-to-face interviews at an old age residence in the participants' own dwellings (N = 242). The management of this specific village approached the researcher about healthcare concerns for their residents and granted permission for this study to be conducted.

Main outcome and results: The sample population of elderly patients (n = 67) had a higher expectation of community pharmacists, in terms of pharmaceutical services, than what they had experienced. Significant differences were found in all aspects examined. Effect size, amongst others, revealed that expectations were not met in discussions about the effect of other medicines on their chronic medicine (d = 1.94); whether they had any medicines left from previous issues (d = 1.77) and questions regarding existing chronic conditions (d = 1.69). There was an association between questions, regarding the use of chronic medicines at pharmacies and at other healthcare professionals (d =0.26), as well as the supply of written information at pharmacies and other healthcare professionals (d = 0.42). The study reveals that this population has expectations of their community pharmacists that are not met.

Conclusions: Pharmacists can be active members of the healthcare team and restore their professional image in the eyes of the community, if they renew their attitudes, have confidence in their abilities and understand their role in patient care. The community pharmacist should focus on the health-related quality of life of the individual patient and identify the immediate healthcare needs of their unique community, with specific reference to vulnerable populations like the elderly. Pharmacists should establish themselves as the go-to healthcare professional.


Keywords

Elderly; Pharmaceutical services; Experiences and expectations; Community pharmacy; Face-to face interview; Researcher-designed structured questionnaire

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