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Open Access Research article

Comparing women pharmacy consumers’ experiences with weight loss treatment in Victoria and Nottingham: a cross-sectional study

Souhiela Fakih1, Jennifer L Marriott1, Helen Boardman2, Claire Anderson2* and Safeera Y Hussainy1

Author Affiliations

1 Centre for Medicine Use and Safety, Monash University, Parkville, Australia

2 Division of Social Research in Medicines and Health School of Pharmacy, University of Nottingham, Nottingham NG7 2RD, UK

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BMC Public Health 2014, 14:662  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-14-662

Published: 28 June 2014

Abstract

Background

There has been a recent increase in weight management services available in pharmacies across Australia and England. The aim of this study was to determine the following between women in Victoria and Nottingham: similarities and differences of what weight management options are preferred by women pharmacy consumers; how they feel about pharmacists providing advice in this area; and what they desire in a weight management program.

Method

Women pharmacy consumers were randomly approached by a researcher in community pharmacies in Victoria and Nottingham and asked to complete a questionnaire regarding their own weight management experiences. The questionnaire was self-completed or researcher-administered and was comprised of four main sections that focused on the participant’s general health, previous weight loss experiences, their ideal weight management program and their demographics. Data was entered in SPSS 19 and logistic regression was used to identify any differences in weight loss experiences between women.

Results

The participant rates were high: 86% (n = 395/460) in Victoria and 98% in Nottingham (n = 215/220). Overall, women in Victoria and Nottingham were similar with comparable demographics. Approximately 50% (250/507) of women were in the overweight or obese body mass index category, with over 70% (n = 436/610) of women having attempted to lose weight in the past. The majority of women (n = 334/436) felt comfortable receiving advice from pharmacists. In the logistic regression analysis women in Nottingham were found to be significantly less likely to have utilised a pharmacy weight management program in the last five years (OR: 0.23 CI: 0.08, 0.63) and were significantly less likely to want an ideal weight management program located in a pharmacy (OR: 0.49 CI: 0.30, 0.82) compared to women in Victoria. No significant associations between location and feeling comfortable with a pharmacist advising on weight loss or wanting a pharmacist in an ideal weight management program were seen.

Conclusion

Results from this study have provided information on possible ideal pharmacy weight management programs in both Victoria and Nottingham. Although differences were seen between the two populations, similarities between ideal weight management programs and comfort level with pharmacist interaction were noted.

Keywords:
Women; Body weight; Weight loss; Health services; Community pharmacy services; Health knowledge, attitudes, practice