Client perceptions of interaction with community pharmacists in the Nelson Mandela Metropole

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 3
  • Abstract:

    Communication plays an important role in health care professions, such as pharmacy, which is an information-driven profession in which community pharmacists are embedded. They are responsible for ensuring patient-centred pharmaceutical care on a daily basis; thus, it is vital for them to interact effectively and humanely with clients. The aim of this study was to identify clients’ perceptions regarding their interaction with community pharmacists in the Nelson Mandela Metropole, Eastern Cape, South Africa. When analysed, clients’ perspectives on interaction with community pharmacists disclosed deficits in these pharmacists’ communication skills, which inhibit effective interactions. The more specific objectives were to determine if community pharmacist-client interaction does occur; the quality thereof; and to identify the communication skills clients perceive as important. A qualitative approach was followed to achieve the aim of the study. Three focus groups (FGs), consisting of 17 participants were selected by means of purposive sampling. The same FG protocol, consisting of three group activities, was followed for each FG. Thematic and descriptive analysis was applied and reliability and validity were ensured. The results indicated that pharmacist-client interaction plays a vital role in community pharmacies. The participants indicated that community pharmacists require not only accurate pharmacological knowledge, but also interpersonal skills, ranging from making eye contact and listening, to communicating in everyday language. It was also suggested that community pharmacists must be courteous, compassionate, honest and trustworthy when interacting with clients. The clients’ perceptions of visiting community pharmacies should not be ignored, because they are able to identify shortcomings in existing pharmacist interaction