Experiences of community pharmacists advising pregnant women

Int J Clin Pharm. 2015 Aug;37(4):636-44. doi: 10.1007/s11096-015-0111-6. Epub 2015 Apr 10.


Background: Recent studies have shown that pharmacists provide healthcare advice to pregnant women, and that they can play an important role in maternal care. However, pharmacists have faced challenges in advising mothers and coordinating with physicians.

Objective: To explore the experiences of community pharmacists in advising pregnant women at Lithuanian community pharmacies.

Setting: Community pharmacies in Lithuania.

Methods: Community pharmacists (n = 27) were recruited for semistructured face-to-face interviews from June 2012 to March 2013. A qualitative and descriptive study based on the content analysis approach was used for data collection and analysis.

Main outcome measure: Thematic coding of Lithuanian community pharmacist interview content.

Results: Three main areas emerged: topics of advice-giving, provision of information, and barriers to advice-giving. The question of whether to interact with the physician connected to all of these areas. Pharmacists described different practices about the advice they gave and how they gave it. Lack of knowledge and skills, both about pregnancy and about patient-physician-pharmacist interaction, were a clear barrier to care for pregnant women in community pharmacies.

Conclusion: Respondents were comfortable giving advice in clear situations, and found it challenging to do so otherwise. Improving the physician-pharmacist-patient communication environment and providing education and training programmes for pharmacists is necessary to reduce stress and to overcome barriers in advising pregnant women.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Lithuania
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pharmacists*
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Care* / methods
  • Professional Role*
  • Professional-Patient Relations
  • Young Adult