Pharmacy World and Science

, Volume 21, Issue 5, pp 210–216 | Cite as

A self‐reported work sampling study in community pharmacy practice

  • H.M. Bell
  • J.C. McElnay
  • C.M. Hughes


Lack of time to implement pharmaceutical care has been cited as a barrier to the routine provision of this extended patient‐care service. Using self‐reported work sampling methodology, this study investigated how community pharmacists utilise their time. Pharmacists working in community pharmacies in the Greater Belfast area were found to spend approximately 49% of their time engaged in professional activities, 29% in semi‐professional activities and 22% involved in non‐professional activities. The activity to which pharmacists devoted the majority of their time was product assembly and labelling, this being a task which can be performed by trained technical staff. Only 9.5% of community pharmacists' time was devoted to counselling patients on their prescription medicines. Wide variation in the amount of time apportioned to each activity was observed between the participating community pharmacists (n=30). Staffing levels within the community pharmacy were found to significantly influence pharmacists' involvement in a number of activities, with pharmacists who worked in pharmacies employing multiple pharmacists devoting more time to the assembly and labelling of products and less time to administrative tasks, non‐professional encounters and to miscellaneous professional activities. Pharmacists working in pharmacies with a high prescription turnover were found to devote significantly less time to counselling patients regarding OTC products and in responding to patient symptoms.

Barriers Community pharmacy Pharmaceutical care Self‐reporting Work sampling 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • H.M. Bell
  • J.C. McElnay
  • C.M. Hughes

There are no affiliations available

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