The “affected” pharmacist and the “business as usual” pharmacist: Exploring the experiences of pharmacists during COVID-19 through cluster analysis

Karlee Johnston*, Claire L. O'Reilly, Brett Scholz, Ekavi N. Georgousopoulou, Imogen Mitchell

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    9 Citations (Scopus)


    Background: The global coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has necessitated considerable changes in the delivery of pharmacy services, with pharmacists experiencing increasing demands and a high rate of burnout. The ability to categorize pharmacists based on their burnout risk and associated factors could be used to tailor burnout interventions. Objective: This study aimed to identify subgroups (profiles) of pharmacists and use these profiles to describe interventions tailored to improve pharmacist's well-being. Methods: A survey was disseminated to pharmacists working in Australia during April and June 2020. The survey measured demographics, burnout, and psychosocial factors associated with working during COVID-19. A two-step cluster analysis was used to categorize pharmacists based on burnout and other variables. Results: A total of 647 survey responses contained data that were used for analysis. Participants were mostly female (75.7%) and working full time (65.2%). The final cluster analysis yielded an acceptable two-cluster model describing 2 very different pharmacist experiences, using 10 variables. Cluster 2 (representing 53.1% of participants) describes the “affected” pharmacist, who has a high degree of burnout, works in community pharmacy, experiences incivility, is less likely to report sufficient precautionary measures in their workplace, and has had an increase in workload and overtime. In contrast, cluster 1 (representing 46.9% of participants) describes the profile of a “business as usual” hospital pharmacist with the opposite experiences. Interventions focused on the “affected” pharmacist such as financial support to employ specialized staff and equitable access to personal protective equipment should be available to community pharmacists, to reduce the risk to these frontline workers. Conclusion: The use of cluster analysis has identified 2 distinct profiles of pharmacists working during COVID-19. The “affected” pharmacist warrants targeted interventions to address the high burnout experienced in this group.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)144-150.e2
    JournalJournal of the American Pharmacists Association
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2023


    Dive into the research topics of 'The “affected” pharmacist and the “business as usual” pharmacist: Exploring the experiences of pharmacists during COVID-19 through cluster analysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this