The experiences of pharmacists during the global COVID-19 pandemic: A thematic analysis using the jobs demands-resources framework

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

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    18 Citations (Scopus)


    Background: COVID-19 has necessitated a change to the way pharmacists are providing healthcare and has impacted the psychological wellbeing of these frontline healthcare workers. Objective: To use the job demands-resources framework of burnout to describe the experiences of pharmacists working during COVID-19. Methods: An online survey investigating burnout, psychosocial, and work-related factors affecting pharmacists during COVID-19 was distributed to a convenience sample of pharmacists practising in Australia during April and June 2020. The survey was distributed via social media and professional organisations. This study was a thematic analysis of the free-text question of the survey that asked participants to provide comment on anything they considered important. The job demands-resources framework of burnout was applied to the themes. Results: Of 647 total survey responses, 215 (33.2%) participants responded to the free text question. Thematic analysis explored the increase in demands on pharmacists with a decreased availability of resources during COVID-19. Themes associated with high demands included an increased workload, provision of education and support to the community, taking on roles traditionally performed by others, managing medication and stock supply issues, and poor consumer behaviour. Themes representing resources, which were inadequate, included feeling supported by management and colleagues, feeling adequately trained, receiving clear and consistent communication, feeling valued and appreciated, personal safety, and recovery time. Conclusions: Pharmacists have experienced increased demands and reduced resources during COVID-19 which is associated with burnout. Knowledge of these demands and resources can inform interventions at an individual, workplace, and external level. Recommendations made in this paper are aimed at increasing resources available to pharmacists.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)3649-3655
    Number of pages7
    JournalResearch in Social and Administrative Pharmacy
    Issue number9
    Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022


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