A systematic review of community pharmacist therapeutic knowledge of dietary supplements

Waddington, F, Naunton, M, Kyle, Greg J., Thomas, J, Cooper, G, & Waddington, A (2015) A systematic review of community pharmacist therapeutic knowledge of dietary supplements. International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy, 37(3), pp. 439-446.

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Internationally, the use of dietary supplements has been growing rapidly. Patient support for pharmacist sales of nutritional and dietary supplements is also strong. The increase in demand for nutritional and dietary supplements and subsequent advice about these products, however, makes it necessary that pharmacists maintain a contemporary knowledge of the area.

Aim of review:

This systematic review was conducted to examine the current evidence regarding the level of the nutritional and dietary supplement knowledge of community pharmacists and their understanding of their therapeutic effects.


Electronic databases including Medline, Scopus, Embase, CINAHL, Scifinder and the Cochrane Controlled Trials Register were searched. Studies assessing nutritional knowledge of pharmacists in community pharmacies were eligible for inclusion. All languages and study designs were considered. Study results were analysed and pharmacist knowledge scores were given out of 100 .


From 5594 studies identified, nine met the inclusion criteria. Each study tested pharmacist knowledge with predetermined questions calculating results as the number of questions answered correctly. These knowledge scores were converted to a percentage score for the purpose of this paper. The median knowledge score across all papers was 64%. A lack of studies assessing community pharmacist's knowledge of commonly sold vitamins and minerals was observed. Conclusions Global community pharmacist knowledge of dietary supplements appears to be poor. Community pharmacists have an professional responsibility to provide accurate health information about dietary supplements as they do for any other therapies they provide to patients. Further research including that which assesses pharmacist's therapeutic knowledge of commonly sold vitamins and minerals is suggested.

Impact and interest:

1 citations in Scopus
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1 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 91687
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Community pharmacy, Knowledge, Mineral, Nutrition, Pharmacist, Vitamin
DOI: 10.1007/s11096-015-0092-5
ISSN: 2210-7711
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Past > Schools > Pharmacy
Copyright Owner: © 2015, Koninklijke Nederlandse Maatschappij ter bevordering der Pharmacie
Deposited On: 11 Jan 2016 04:13
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2016 20:34

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