Pharmacists’ Responsibilities with Respect to Dietary Supplements : Perceptions of Thai Community and Hospital Pharmacists

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Tipaporn Kanjanarach
Ines Krass
Robert G. Cumming


This study aimed to explore Thai pharmacists’ perceptions of their responsibilities when providing services in relation to dietary supplements (DS). Self-administered postal questionnaires were used to collect data from community pharmacists and hospital pharmacists in the North-eastern region of Thailand. Structural Equation Modelling was performed to develop factor models of the tasks which pharmacists perceived as their responsibilities. Data from 207 community pharmacists and 178 hospital pharmacists were used for the analysis. A factor model showed that community pharmacists perceived that their responsibilities should include five tasks: being the public’s source of DS information; determining the necessity of DS use; advising clients in choosing DS products; giving education on eating and healthy lifestyles and providing counseling on DS use. This factor model fitted data at a moderate level (χ²₅=13.87, n=207, P=0.021, Relative Chi-square = 2.77, AGFI=0.92, CFI=0.96, RMSEA=0.07). The reliability of the factor model was 0.81. A factor model of hospital pharmacists showed that hospital pharmacists perceived that their responsibilities should include six tasks: being the public’s source of DS information; determining the necessity of DS use; advising clients in choosing DS products; referring clients to doctors if using DS is not appropriate; providing counseling on DS use and reporting DS adverse effects to the authority. The factor model fitted data well (χ²₉=11.43, n=178, p=0.247, Relative Chi-square = 1.27, ADFI=0.95, CFI=0.99, RMSEA=0.04). The reliability of factor model was 0.84. The findings from this study suggested that although community and hospital pharmacists had different views about their responsibilities in relation to DS, both groups of pharmacists appeared to be willing to adopt professional responsibilities for safe use of DS.

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