Pharmacists' perceptions of their role in asthma management and barriers to the provision of asthma services

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Objectives: Few studies have explored pharmacists' perceptions of their potential role in asthma management. This study aimed to investigate community pharmacists' perceptions of their role in the provision of asthma care, to compare the perceptions of metropolitan and regional pharmacists with regards to their role, to identify barriers to the provision of asthma management services and to explore their level of inter-professional contact.

Methods: A 29-item questionnaire was mailed to a convenience sample of community pharmacists. Items included pharmacists' perceptions of their role in asthma management, barriers to pharmacy asthma services and inter-professional contact. The setting was community pharmacies in metropolitan and rural New South Wales, Australia.

Key findings: Seventy-five pharmacists (63% male, 69% in metropolitan pharmacies) returned completed questionnaires (response rate 89%). Pharmacists perceived their role in asthma management along three major dimensions: ‘patient self-management’, ‘medication use’ and ‘asthma control’. Regional pharmacists described a broader role than metropolitan pharmacists. Most participants perceived time and patient-related factors to be the main barriers to optimal asthma care with pharmacist's lack of confidence and skills in various aspects of asthma care less important barriers. Almost 70% indicated that they would like more inter-professional contact regarding the care of patients with asthma.

Conclusions: Community pharmacists perceived a three-dimensional role in asthma care with regional pharmacists more likely to embrace a broader role in asthma management compared to metropolitan pharmacists. Pharmacists identified time and patient-related factors as the major barriers to the provision of asthma services. Future research should explore barriers and facilitators to expansion of the pharmacist's role in asthma management in a holistic way.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-216
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Pharmacy Practice
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • asthma management
  • barriers
  • community pharmacy
  • perceptions
  • pharmacist's role


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