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Exploring community pharmacists' use of health literacy interventions in their everyday practice.

White, Simon; Cork, Tania

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Tania Cork


BACKGROUND: Limited health literacy often results in people inadequately understanding medicines-related information and subsequently not taking medicines as prescribed. Using health literacy interventions is important for community pharmacists, as they are increasingly managing long-term conditions. However, there appear to be no previous studies of community pharmacists' everyday use of health literacy interventions in the UK. OBJECTIVES: To explore UK community pharmacists' perspectives on the usability of health literacy interventions in their everyday practice. METHODS: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with participants, following attendance at health literacy training that included practicing the use of four health literacy interventions (Teach-Back, Chunk and Check, Simple Language and visual aids) and two months experience of attempting to use them in their everyday practice. Participants were pharmacists from community pharmacies in Staffordshire, England who were invited to participate by an email sent to the pharmacy. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed using the Framework Analysis technique. RESULTS: Four themes emerged from 11 interviews undertaken: intervention appeal, limitations, adaptations and continued use. Participants reported using all four health literacy interventions in their everyday practice but Teach-Back appeared to be favoured most. Most participants talked about practicing Teach-Back before using it with patients but described it as useable with patients of all ages, without being prohibitively time consuming. Chunk and Check seemed to be viewed as a type of Teach-Back, whilst visual aids were reported as being used in conjunction with Teach Back rather than as a standalone intervention. Participants reported that Simple Language was an easy concept but easily 'slipped back' into medical jargon and were challenged to use simple enough words. All participants said they would continue to use all four health literacy interventions. CONCLUSIONS: The findings suggest that with training, community pharmacists can successfully incorporate these four health literacy interventions into their everyday practice.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 16, 2022
Online Publication Date Jul 5, 2022
Publication Date 2022-11
Publicly Available Date May 30, 2023
Journal Research in Social and Administrative Pharmacy
Print ISSN 1551-7411
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 18
Issue 11
Pages 3948-3952
Keywords Community pharmacy; Pharmacist; Health literacy interventions
Publisher URL


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