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Phytother Res. 2011 Jun;25(6):892-6. doi: 10.1002/ptr.3357. Epub 2010 Nov 26.

Responding to patient demand: community pharmacists and herbal and nutritional products for children.

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Centre for Complementary Healthcare and Integrated Medicine, Thames Valley University, Paragon House, Boston Manor Road, Brentford, Middlesex, TW8 9GA, UK.


The attitudes and behaviour of pharmacists working in a multi-ethnic community regarding herbal and nutritional products (HNPs) for children, were explored in depth. Qualitative interviews with four pharmacists were analysed using Framework Analysis. Quantitative diary recording of all HNP-related events for child customers in four pharmacies was carried out over two separate week periods between March and June 2008. Of 29 events recorded, most involved parents buying products for their child, especially herbal and nutritional supplements and topical products, and asking for advice. Pharmacists were generally open to herbal and nutritional products and perceived an increasing demand which they were keen to meet. Although they reported feeling competent to give advice, pharmacists wished to increase their knowledge as information on HNPs was limited, and the need to maintain professionalism at all times was recognized. Pharmacists appear to understand and empathize with customer demand for HNPs and are uniquely positioned within the National Health System to provide product advice and support. However, to maintain professionalism, pharmacists may require further information on herbal and nutritional products and continuing professional training, especially since herbal and nutritional supplements may interact with prescribed and over-the-counter drugs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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