An exploratory investigation amongst Australian mothers regarding pharmacies and opportunities for nutrition promotion
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The early years life-stage (1 year either side of childbirth) is an important period for preventive action focusing on optimizing nutritional health for mothers and babies. Community pharmacy is a much utilized, easily accessed setting for health promotion and exposure to the primary health care system. The literature suggests that there has been limited exploration of pharmacy utilization by mothers, particularly in the context of nutrition focused health promotion. This study aimed to explore mothers’ expectations and experiences of pharmacy based health care and to explore mothers’ attitudes and opinions regarding opportunities and scope for nutrition-related health promotion in pharmacy. Qualitative semi structured telephone interviews were conducted amongst a purposive sample of 28 mothers from across Queensland, Australia. Interviews were transcribed and analysed thematically using an iterative approach. Participants as relatively frequent users of pharmacy services accessed pharmacy for medicines or product related concerns but expected information and health advice to be available. Opportunities for nutrition promotion in pharmacy, identified by participants, related primarily to addressing their personal needs for information, advice and support during this life-stage. Improving and reorienting pharmacy staff practices may contribute to more supportive guidance being provided to mothers in this setting.
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