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Table 2 Summary of themes and category content

From: A qualitative study to explore the role of pharmacists in healthy weight management in adults in Pakistan: current scenario and future perspectives

Sr. No. Themes Categories
Pharmacists Medical doctors
1 Current scenario at pharmacies No specific weight management programs were run by pharmacists at their pharmacies. Not applicable
Routine measurements such as weight, body mass index, blood glucose level and blood pressure are the services currently delivered by most pharmacies outside of formal programs.
Pharmacies are visited by the community for the sake of checking their weight.
Programs delivered by pharmacists are appreciated and utilized by high income classes than low income.
2 Potential role of community pharmacists Pharmacists could have a major role in counseling and educating the community. Pharmacists could not only measure baseline parameters of obesity, but may also advise on lifestyle modification.
Pharmacists have the potential to be an integral part of weight management programs.
Providing weight management services sits under the legal scope of pharmacists’ practice. Legal scope of pharmacy practice is not known by Dr’s.
3 Collaborative approaches Pharmacists alone cannot run these weight management programs. Pharmacists alone cannot run these programs.
Collaboration with other healthcare providers, pharmaceutical companies and owners of pharmacies is important. Collaboration with other healthcare providers is absolutely necessary.
Government support and collaboration is essential because it is really difficult to run these programs without the support of government.
4 Barriers Low wages, lack of a robust community pharmacy sector and deficiencies in pharmacy education are the major barriers. Lack of awareness of the professional roles of pharmacists and insufficient facilities at pharmacies are the main obstacles to implementation as seen by Dr’s.
Owners of pharmacies are not interested in these types of programs because owners focus only on business.
Current pharmacies are identified as medicine selling points rather than clinical service providers.
The government and other bodies that govern pharmacy do not support nor collaborate with pharmacists.
The community does not have a clear understanding of the professional roles that pharmacists could undertake.
5 Ideal pharmacist-based weight management program Separate space in a pharmacy is required to implement this program. Only non-pharmacological approaches should be included in programs.
Lifestyle modifications should be the core component. Follow up visits should be planned.
Robust systems for record keeping and follow-up should be included in the program. Outcomes should be assessed through measurement of baseline parameters of obesity.
Assessment of baseline parameters is also essential.
Counseling should be tailored for every visit with non-responders.
6 Professional requirements and need for training Pharmacists can become professionally competent if they are properly trained and have adequate knowledge to deliver weight management services. Pharmacists need specialized training about weight management programs to become professionally sound.
Separate space in pharmacies is required for the implementation of these services. Basic knowledge about obesity, co morbidities and linking to counseling points should be included in the training sessions.
Pharmacists are willing to take part in sponsored training sessions in order to update their clinical knowledge in this area.
7 Potential for implementation If governing bodies support pharmacists and collaborate with them to improve the system and processes, then it will be possible to implement these programs. By creating awareness about the positive image of pharmacists, these programs can be implemented.
Awareness about the professional roles a pharmacist can play needs to be increased amongst the wider community. These programs can be implemented if the current system is improved.
Current burdens on doctors can be shared through implementation of these services.
More practical training sessions should be included in the undergraduate pharmacy curriculum.
8 Level of trust on pharmacists Not applicable Pharmacists are capable to be a part of the delivery of weight management programs.
They can only deliver non-pharmacological components related to these programs.
  1. Note: There were no differences within each professional group and so we have presented pharmacist versus medical doctor views as two large groups of participants