Pharmacists' Satisfaction with Work and Working Conditions in New Zealand-An Updated Survey and a Comparison to Canada

Pharmacy (Basel). 2023 Jan 23;11(1):21. doi: 10.3390/pharmacy11010021.


Background: As roles have evolved over time, changes in workplace environments have created higher patient expectations creating stressful conditions for pharmacists.

Aim: To evaluate pharmacists' perceptions of their working conditions, work dissatisfaction, and psychological distress; determine their predictors in New Zealand (NZ); and compare results with Canadian studies and historic NZ data.

Methods: A cross-sectional online survey was distributed to registered pharmacists in NZ. The survey included demographics, work satisfaction, psychological distress, and perceptions of their working conditions (six statements with agreement rated on a 5-point Likert scale). Comparisons were made with surveys from Canada and NZ. Chi-square, t-tests, and non-parametric statistics were used to make comparisons.

Results: The response rate was 24.7% (694/2815) with 73.1% practicing in a community pharmacy (45.8% independent, 27.3% chains). Pharmacists disagreed on having adequate time for breaks and tasks, while the majority contemplated leaving the profession and/or not repeating their careers again if given the choice. Working longer hours and processing more prescriptions per day were predictive factors for poorer job satisfaction. More NZ pharmacists perceived their work environment to be conducive to safe and effective primary care (57% vs. 47%, p < 0.001) and reported that they had enough staff (45% vs. 32%, p = 0.002) as compared to Canadian pharmacists. Pharmacists' job satisfaction and psychological distress have not improved compared to the assessment 20 years prior.

Conclusions: NZ pharmacists perceive working conditions to be sub-optimal yet had higher satisfaction than their Canadian counterparts. Work dissatisfaction and psychological distress are high and have not improved over the last two decades.

Keywords: mental health; satisfaction; working conditions.

Grants and funding

This research received no external funding.