Workplace stress in community pharmacies in England: associations with individual, organizational and job characteristics

J Health Serv Res Policy. 2014 Jan;19(1):27-33. doi: 10.1177/1355819613500043. Epub 2013 Sep 6.


Objectives: To describe the levels of workplace stress that community pharmacists perceive and to examine associations with individual, organizational and job characteristics.

Methods: A cross-sectional mailed survey of 2000 randomly selected community pharmacists practising in England incorporating a validated organizational stress screening tool (ASSET).

Results: Response rate was 48%. Community pharmacists reported significantly higher levels of stress than other health care workers for seven out of eight work-related stressors. Regression analyses demonstrated significant associations between a number of individual, organizational and job characteristics and stress. Long working days, being a pharmacy manager and working for large multiples were associated with higher reported levels of stress across a number of work-related stressors including work overload, control and the job itself. However, self-reported measures of workload (such as dispensing volume) were not associated with higher stress levels.

Conclusions: The growth in corporate ownership of community pharmacies, which is associated with more stressful working environments, together with current economic pressures could have consequences not only for the future well-being of pharmacists but also for patient safety.

Keywords: community pharmacy; work environment; work stress.

MeSH terms

  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Data Collection
  • England / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pharmacies / organization & administration*
  • Pharmacists / psychology
  • Pharmacists / statistics & numerical data
  • Stress, Psychological / epidemiology
  • Stress, Psychological / etiology*
  • Workforce
  • Workload / psychology
  • Workload / statistics & numerical data
  • Workplace / organization & administration
  • Workplace / psychology*