Self-care support of long-term conditions and community pharmacy

  • Oladapo Ogunbayo

Student thesis: Phd


Long-term conditions (LTCs) such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, respiratory diseases and cancers are recognised as the greatest challenge facing public healthcare systems globally in the 21st century. Healthcare provision for people with LTCs is shifting towards a model that puts patients at the centre of their own care through supported self-care. Self-care support has emerged as a distinct concept in the management of LTCs and is now considered an inseparable component of high quality healthcare provided by healthcare professionals. People with LTCs are regular users of community pharmacy where dispensing and other services provide opportunities for self-care support. While self-care support as a concept has been explored extensively in health disciplines like nursing, medicine and health psychology, there is a paucity of published literature in community pharmacy. The main aim of this programme of work was to explore the place and contribution of community pharmacy in self-care support of LTCs.A preliminary scoping literature review captured and synthesised the overarching components of self-care support of LTCs into a single theoretical framework consisting of collaborative care planning, self-care information and advice, self-care skills support and training, self-care support networks and self-care technology. The research programme of work employed a mixed methods design consisting of three Work Streams. The qualitative arm of the programme consisted of semi-structured interviews with 24 patients with LTCs and 24 community pharmacists in England and Scotland; these informed the quantitative arm, which was a cross-sectional, online survey of 10,000 community pharmacists in England. The survey instrument was informed and developed from the findings of the pharmacists' interviews in combination with existing literature. Data collection and analysis in the three work streams incorporated the theoretical framework of self-care support. The qualitative data analyses were undertaken thematically, while quantitative data were analysed using a range of descriptive and inferential statistics.Interviews with patients explored their 'lived experience' with LTCs and found that self-care was an integral part of daily living; patients engaged in self-care in a variety of ways to attain normality in their lives. Patients used a wide range of resources for self-care support; family/carers, friends and healthcare professionals (mainly doctors and nurses). Patients viewed and used community pharmacy mainly for the supply of prescribed medicines and suggested that community pharmacy played minimal roles in self-care support. The interviews and survey of community pharmacists showed that pharmacists recognised the broad range of activities and principles of self-care. However, in terms of pharmacists' contributions to self-care support, their perspectives were narrower and focussed on providing information and advice on medicines-use to patients, while other activities such as lifestyle advice were provided opportunistically. They indicated that they were already providing medicines-focussed self-care support through the services available in community pharmacy. The theoretical framework allowed detailed exploration of how community pharmacists operationalised the different elements of self-care support of LTCs. Collaborative care planning was viewed as important but not within the remit of community pharmacy. Self-care information and advice was unidimensional and provided opportunistically and one-off, using the paternalistic biomedical model. Pharmacists valued the roles of patients' personal communities but were not proactive in signposting to other support networks. Self-care skills training and support and the use of self-care technologies were limited. Barriers to providing self-care support were priority accorded to dispensing activities, the structure of the community pharmacy contract, lack of incentives to provide self-car
Date of Award31 Dec 2015
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorEllen Schafheutle (Supervisor), Peter Noyce (Supervisor) & Christopher Cutts (Supervisor)


  • Qualitative research
  • Long-term conditions
  • Mixed methods research
  • Self-care support
  • Community pharmacy
  • Self-care

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