Evaluation of a rural community pharmacy-based Waist Management Project: bringing the program to the people

Aust J Prim Health. 2011;17(1):16-22. doi: 10.1071/PY10030.


Time constraints and lack of awareness of risk factors for future chronic disease development prevent many young adults from accessing lifestyle programs offered by local health services. This study aimed to determine the effectiveness of a rural pharmacy-based multidisciplinary healthy lifestyle pilot program on reducing risk factors for chronic disease development among young adults. Individuals under the age of 50 with chronic disease risk factors were referred to the program. All subjects were provided with free after-hours nutritional counselling from a dietitian at the local community pharmacy, a comprehensive medication review conducted by the pharmacist, gym membership and access to cooking classes and supermarket tours. Selected participants also received bulk-billed GP appointments and assistance with establishing a home vegetable garden. Body weight, waist circumference, fruit and vegetable consumption and physical activity were assessed at baseline and after program conclusion. Forty participants regularly attended the program between March 2009 and March 2010. At program conclusion, mean body weight was reduced by 3.8±6.7kg (P<0.001) and waist circumference reduced by 3.9±6.5cm (P<0.001). Fruit consumption increased by 1.2±0.2 serves/day (P<0.001) and vegetable intake increased by 1.6±1.0 serves/day (P<0.001). Participants also spent an average of 88.0±47.7 more min/week (P<0.001) engaged in physical activity on completion of the program. The community pharmacy provided an accessible location for the delivery of a successful chronic disease risk reduction program targeting young adults in a rural area.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Chronic Disease / prevention & control*
  • Community Pharmacy Services / organization & administration*
  • Counseling
  • Exercise
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Female
  • Health Promotion / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pilot Projects
  • Rural Health Services / organization & administration*
  • Victoria
  • Weight Loss*