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Pharmacists developing more opportunities in self-care, says FIP report

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Pharmacists developing more opportunities in self-care, says FIP report

Around the globe pharmacists and their teams are developing more opportunities to enable self-care support to improve patient health outcomes.

However, substantial barriers still exist if community pharmacy is to optimise its performance and embrace change, says a new report (1) from the International Pharmaceutical Federation ( FIP ).

The report, which aims to provide evidence-based policy support for workforce development, collates the views of 238 respondents from 55 countries.

Educating and advising patients about their self-limiting conditions emerged as the most commonly employed approach reported by respondents (79.4 per cent), followed by advising on the use of medication for self-limiting conditions (74.4 per cent) and providing medicines to patients (59.2 per cent).

Most respondents agreed with self-care statements that related to actively supporting patients’ healthcare decisions and consultations (87 per cent), medication adherence (89.9 per cent), and facilitating lifestyle changes (85.7 per cent).

Health education websites are the most widely employed resources used by the respondents to support self-care (44.5 per cent), along with Health tracking apps (36.6 per cent) and diagnostic tests (29.8 per cent).

“The primary healthcare context is evolving rapidly, driven by an increasing emphasis on self-care where appropriate. Empowering patients with self-care is a significant way in which pharmacists can support universal health coverage and, as evident throughout this report, community pharmacists recognise the importance of being able to offer effective support activities,” said Professor Ian Bates, director of the FIP Global Pharmaceutical Observatory.

However, the report also highlighted substantial barriers towards optimising self-care activities, such as inadequate funding and limited access to patient records. It also identifies key themes that could improve community pharmacy practice and overall management for better self-care support delivery, including better use of digital self-care tools and healthcare technologies.

“Educating and training pharmacists to support self-care remains a necessity to bring tangible benefits to patients. This can enhance patients’ health literacy and awareness and assist them to better care for themselves, enhancing economic impacts and maintaining sustainable and efficient services,” Professor Bates said.

1. https://www.FIP.org/file/5710

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