This thesis reports an examination of the current and potential future role of community pharmacists in the provision of health education. It explores what health education services are currently offered by pharmacists and how these might be developed in the future; it examines the extent to which pharmacy clients use these services and establishes what additional services clients want; it describes the development and implementation of four `intervention modes' of providing health education in pharmacies. The main findings emerging from this study are as follows: a. Currently, all pharmacists provide some health education, primarily through the passive display of health information leaflets. Most pharmacists intend to develop their health education activities, but are mindful of factors that hinder this development. b. Clients claim to be interested in the health information leaflets available in their pharmacies, yet few actually use them. Thus, this mode of health education has little positive impact. Health-related advice, as another health education service, is widely given in connection with the dispensing of medicines but rarely extends beyond the information already printed on packages. Advice given in connection with clients' enquiry about non-prescription medicines, though more informative, is usually coloured by pharmacists' commercial interests. c. Generally, clients are positively inclined towards receiving advice from pharmacists, but expect this to relate to a wider range of issues and to be of higher quality than is currently the case. The provision of diagnostic testing plays a very limited role in pharmacists' health education work. d. The four intervention modes sought to promote the uptake of health information leaflets by clients, and to encourage them to seek pharmacists' advice on health matters. All resulted in an increased leaflet uptake, with three also producing a creditable level of clients seeking advice. The study has generated useful information about the current state of affairs in the provision of health education by pharmacies and about how this provision can be developed to make it more effective.
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