Many community pharmacists ideologically support recent changes to their roles in primary healthcare. However, their antithetical resistance towards practice change could have systemic causes (i.e. role stresses), which may account for increased job dissatisfaction, burnout, and job turnover in the profession. Deeper comprehension was sought using a role theory framework.
To identify factors leading to role stresses and strain responses for community pharmacists, and to create a framework for community pharmacist role management.
PubMed, Scopus and Web of Science databases were searched for qualitative studies identifying community pharmacist role stress and strain using scoping review methodology from 1990 to 2019. Content and thematic analysis using the framework method was performed, and themes were reported using thematic synthesis.
Screening of 10,880 records resulted in 33 studies identified, with 41 factors categorised into four domains: Interpersonal Interactions, Social Setting, Individual Attributes, and Extra-Role. All role stresses were present. Reported role strains suggest role system imbalance.
Community pharmacists are in a multifactorial transitional environment. Reported role stresses may be a function of past pharmacist roles and increased role expectations, amplified by many requisite interactions and individual pharmacist characteristics. Social science theories were found to be applicable to the community pharmacy setting.