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Beliefs about medicines among Swedish pharmacy employees

Conference paper
Authors Tove Hedenrud
Karolina Andersson
Ann-Charlotte Mårdby
Published in International Conference on Behavioral Medicine, Bangkok, November 2006.
Publication year 2006
Published at Institute of Medicine, School of Public Health and Community Medicine
Language en
Subject categories Social and Clinical Pharmacy


The aim was to describe beliefs about medicines among pharmacy employees. A further aim was to analyse whether these beliefs were associated with any background characteristics, such as age, professional category or medication use. The study was performed among pharmacy employees at 24 community pharmacies in Göteborg, Sweden. A majority of the 292 respondents were dispensing pharmacists. More than half of the respondents were aged 45 years or older and had worked in a pharmacy for 20 years or more. The respondents had a mean score for General Benefit of 4.31, 1.81 for General Harm and 3.49 for General Overuse. Each scale score ranged from 1 to 5. Compared to dispensing pharmacists, pharmacy technicians viewed medicines as more harmful; and compared to pharmacy technicians, pharmacists and dispensing pharmacists regarded medicines as more beneficial. Pharmacy employees with 30-34 years experience regarded medicines as less harmful compared to those who had worked 0-4 years. Compared to non-users, current users of prescription drugs regarded medicines as more beneficial. No confounders were detected for the three subscales. Pharmacy personnel expressed positive beliefs about medicines which may effect the communication with clients and, eventually, clients’ adherence to medicines. The reason for the difference between dispensing pharmacists and technicians remain unclear. Health professionals hold both professional and personal health beliefs, which could have an impact, not only on the type of information one considers important to communicate, but also the way it is communicated. With knowledge about potential differences in beliefs about medicines among pharmacy clients, pharmacy employees, doctors and nurses, we may be able to suggest measures in order to enhance adherence among users of medication.

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