Guidance for pharmacists on supporting self-care in six areas — sore throat, gastrointestinal complaints, musculoskeletal pain, fever in children, sexual health and disinfection — is given in a new handbook published by the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) today.
“Community pharmacists already help people in self-care by giving advice on non-prescription medicines, nutrition, physical activity and lifestyle choices, but this new resource from FIP offers added support for these professional services that demonstrate our profession’s commitment to primary health care,” said Mr Rúben Viegas, co-author of the handbook.
“Empowering self-care: A handbook for pharmacists” aims to provide the pharmacy workforce with concise guidance on coaching practices and person-centred approaches to promoting and engaging in self-care. Supporting appropriate care of sore throat and good hygiene could also help reduce the use of antibiotics, the authors point out. The publication is also intended as an advocacy resource for FIP’s member organisations, as it discusses current trends and strategies in self-care and explores innovations adopted across several practice areas.
“Self-care is an increasingly important component of health care, with further growth during the COVID-19 pandemic, significant implications for health systems and resources, and a potentially huge contribution to universal health coverage. With this handbook, we want to support and engage the front-line pharmacy workforce to overcome the obstacles to self-care, which include regulatory barriers and low health literacy,” Mr Viegas said.
The handbook for pharmacists is FIP’s latest resource in the area of self-care, following:
- A 2017 reference document (“Pharmacy as a gateway to care: Helping people towards better care”) and policy statement (which included a commitment by FIP to support and advocate pharmacist-delivered self-care services);
- A 2019 joint statement with the Global Self-Care Federation highlighting the responsibilities of pharmacists in dispensing self-care products, supporting patients with education, collaborating with other healthcare providers and encouraging individuals to make positive life choices;
- A 2021 series of digital events “Shaping the future of self-care through pharmacy” and set of summaries, which have also just been published.
“Empowering self-care: A handbook for pharmacists” is available here.