Burning questions: Exploring the impact of a natural disaster on community pharmacies

Mak, Pey Wen & Singleton, Judith A. (2016) Burning questions: Exploring the impact of a natural disaster on community pharmacies. Research in Social and Administrative Pharmacy. (In Press)

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The past decade has seen a rapid change in the climate system with an increased risk of extreme weather events. On and following the 3rd of January 2013, Tasmania experienced three catastrophic bushfires, which led to the evacuation of several communities, the loss of many properties, and a financial cost of approximately AUD$80 million.


To explore the impacts of the 2012/2013 Tasmanian bushfires on community pharmacies.


Qualitative research methods were undertaken, employing semi-structured telephone interviews with a purposive sample of seven Tasmanian pharmacists. The interviews were recorded and transcribed, and two different methods were used to analyse the text. The first method utilised Leximancer® text analytics software to provide a birds-eye view of the conceptual structure of the text. The second method involved manual, open and axial coding, conducted independently by the two researchers for inter-rater reliability, to identify key themes in the discourse.


Two main themes were identified - ‘people’ and ‘supply’ - from which six key concepts were derived. The six concepts were ‘patients’, ‘pharmacists’, ‘local doctor’, ‘pharmacy operations’, ‘disaster management planning’, and ‘emergency supply regulation’.


This study identified challenges faced by community pharmacists during Tasmanian bushfires. Interviewees highlighted the need for both the Tasmanian State Government and the Australian Federal Government to recognise the important primary care role that community pharmacists play during natural disasters, and therefore involve pharmacists in disaster management planning. They called for greater support and guidance for community pharmacists from regulatory and other government bodies during these events. Their comments highlighted the need for a review of Tasmania’s 3-day emergency supply regulation that allows pharmacists to provide a three-day supply of a patient’s medication without a doctor’s prescription in an emergency situation.

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ID Code: 92223
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: community pharmacy, bushfires, pharmacists, medication management, medicines, medicines' supply, natural disasters, emergency supply, disaster management, disaster management planning
DOI: 10.1016/j.sapharm.2015.12.015
ISSN: 1551-7411
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Clinical Sciences
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2016 Elsevier
Deposited On: 22 Jan 2016 01:41
Last Modified: 04 Feb 2016 17:19

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