The Community Pharmacist: Perceived Barriers and Patient-Centered Care Communication

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Jan 15;17(2):536. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17020536.


Nowadays, the classic perception of the pharmaceutical profession in community pharmacies is facing worldwide extinction due to many factors. Among the numerous factors, online pharmacies are increasingly gaining ground thanks to their ability to facilitate customer demand. Nevertheless, they are endangering "face-to-face" contact, affecting the building of customer loyalty based on direct "human" interaction, and consequently reducing pharmacists to mere commercial figures. Patient-centered care communication is emphasized as the essential element to build a solid and appropriate interpersonal relationship with the patient, to make the consultancy process effective, and to strengthen the pharmacist's professionalism in community pharmacy. This paper presents a narrative review of existing literature with the first aim of pinpointing the factors affecting pharmacy professional practice, and secondly, of how to improve patient-centered communication skills. A more widespread introduction of in-depth study and practice of behavioral, communication, educational, and sociological methodologies and techniques would allow for the development of more effective skills used for providing an efficient consultancy service, improving the capacity of future professionals to approach public relations.

Keywords: communication skills improvement; community pharmacy; effective communication; efficient consultancy service; health literacy; modern pharmaceutical services; on-line pharmacy; pharmacist’s re-professionalization.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Community Pharmacy Services
  • Education, Pharmacy
  • Health Communication
  • Humans
  • Patient-Centered Care*
  • Pharmacists / psychology*
  • Professional Role
  • Professional-Patient Relations*