Analyzing pharmacist representation in public-facing health media: Insights and implications
|Articles in Refereed Journals (International)
|Online ISSN: 1934-8150; Print ISSN: 1551-7411
|Research in Social and Administrative Pharmacy https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sapharm.2023.12.007
Despite the importance of marketing for community pharmacies, evidence on its effectiveness in influencing consumer behavior and the added value for pharmacies remains limited. This study explores the representation of pharmacists in consumer-facing print media used for consumer marketing.
The aim of this study is to analyze professional representation, especially of community pharmacists alongside other health professionals, in health-related public-facing print media, and to explore and further develop the use of novel, consumer facing data sources in a healthcare research context.
An exploratory qualitative content analysis of a sample of issues from a leading consumer-facing healthcare print magazine was conducted. Of 565 extracted text passages, 328 were retained for analysis and coded using a coding scheme focused on described professional role, type of content, depth of voice, and demographics.
Physicians (42 %) and researchers (19 %) were the largest professional groups to be directly cited in print media texts while pharmacists provided 14 % of all direct quotations. Nurses were identified as sources in 1 % of texts. Male professionals were quoted almost twice as frequently as their female counterparts. Images accompanying texts were more gender balanced but did not reflect workforce demographics.
The comparative lack of pharmacist representation in marketing print magazines suggests a missed opportunity both as a marketing tool and for educating the public about community pharmacist expertise. There is a need to harness the potential of print media, especially those financed by and distributed in community pharmacies, to improve public perception and visibility of pharmacists, and to inform the public about the evolving roles of pharmacists in the healthcare ecosystem. Further research should explore pharmacist representations in different types of news media to better understand the impacts on public perception of pharmacists internationally.
Community pharmacyCommunity pharmacistMarketingRepresentationConsumer attitude