Self-efficacy of community pharmacists and associated factors in counselling to support self-medication in Japan: A crosssectional study

Main Article Content


Community pharmacy, Self-efficacy, Over-the-counter drugs, Counseling


Background: In 2016, the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare established the Health Support Pharmacy Certification System. The certification requirements include a track record of counseling regarding the use of over-the-counter drugs (OTC). Therefore, pharmacists must increase their self-efficacy for counseling. Objectives: To determine pharmacists’ self-efficacy for OTC counseling and related factors. Methods: A web-based survey was conducted. Multivariate analysis was conducted to test the relationship among the mean scores of self-efficacy for OTC counselling for 25 symptoms, pharmacist attributes, years of work, psychosocial factor, job satisfaction, and level of trust from the community and patients. Results: We received responses from 250 people. The overall self-efficacy was 5.8 (SD= 2.4) but varied depending on the symptoms. Self-efficacy was relatively high for allergic symptoms (6.9), cold/influenza (6.9), and constipation (7.1), but relatively low for contraceptive drugs (3.8), palpitation/shortness of breath (4.6), and abnormal taste/smell (4.2). In bivariate analysis, items related to self-efficacy included “age” (Spearman correlation= 0.276, P<0.001), “academic background” (-0.208, P=0.001), “number of years of work” (0.267, P<0.001), “level of trust from the community” (0.155, P=0.014), “level of trust from patients” (0.271, P<0.001), “job satisfaction” (0.236, P<0.001), “role clarity” (0.181, P=0.004), and “positive challenge at work” (0.271, P<0.001). Multivariate analysis indicated that the number of years of work (Standardizing Coefficient: 0.22), trust from patients (0.13), and positive challenge at work (0.25) had a positive effect on self-efficacy. Conclusions: Years of work, recognition that they are trusted by patients, and positive challenge at work were important for the counseling self-efficacy of pharmacists. These results provide implications for pharmacy management and lifelong education strategies to promote self-efficacy in pharmacist counseling.


Download data is not yet available.
Abstract 553 | PDF Downloads 350


1. Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. Overview of National Medical Expenditure in Fiscal Year 2018; c2018 [cited 2021 Jul 20]/ Available from: 
2. Watanabe K. Recent social background and consumer views on over-the-counter drugs and self-medication. Yakugaku Zasshi.The Pharmaceutical Society of Japan. 2020;140(3):423-434.
3. The Prime Minister’s Official Residence. Japan Revitalization Strategy - JAPAN is BACK; c2013 [cited 2021 Jul 19]. Available from:
4. The Prime Minister’s Official Residence. Japan Revitalization Strategy Revised in 2014 -Japan’s challenge for the future-; c2014 [cited 2021 Jul 20]. Available from:
5. Kubota S, Saito K, Ono S, et al. Survey of pharmacists’ views on rx-to-OTC switched drugs. Jpn J Pharm Health Care Sci. 2017;43(6):287-296.
6. Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. Vision of pharmacies for patients; c2021 [cited 2021 Jul 20]. Available from:
7. Naka Y, Onda M, Yamane Y, et al. The factors that influence the intention of consumers with cold-like symptoms who visiteddrugstores to purchase OTC drugs to consult pharmacists or sellers. JPN J Drug Inform. 2016;18(2):81-86.
8. Hayashi M, Masuda S, Kimura H. Key information providers, channels, and characteristics of Japanese consumers’ informed choices of over‑the‑counter medications. Springer plus. 2015;4:737.
9. Seubert LJ, Whitelaw K, Hattingh L, et al. Development of a theory-based intervention to enhance information exchange during over-the-counter consultations in community pharmacy. Pharmacy (Basel). 2018;6(4):117.
10. Bandura A. The explanatory and predictive scope of self-efficacy theory. J Soc Clin Psycho. 1986;4:359-373.
11. Bandura A. Self-efficacy: Toward a unifying theory of behavioral change. Psychological Review. 1977;84(2):191-215.
12. Morken T, Fossum S, Horn AM, et al. Self-efficacy in counseling in Norwegian chain pharmacies: a cross-sectional study. ResSocial Adm Pharm. 2008;4(4):375-83.
13. Dallner M, Elo AL, Gamberale F, et al. Validation of the general Nordic questionnaire (QPSNordic) for psychological and social factors at work. 12 ed. Copenhagen: Nordic Council of Ministers for Labour and the Working Environment. 2000.
14. Bray SR, Brawley LR. Role efficacy, role clarity, and role performance effectiveness. Small Group Res. 2002;33:233-253.
15. Guirguis LM, Chewning BA. Role theory: Literature review and implications for patient-pharmacist interactions. Res Social Adm Pharm. 2005;1(4):483-507.
16. Pietrusiewicz M, Kopa-Stojak PN, Pawliczak R. Pharmacist’s recommendations of over-the-counter treatments for the common cold - analysis of prospective cases in Poland. BMC Fam Pract. 2021;22(1):216.
17. Halila GC, Junior EH, Otuki MF, et al. The practice of OTC counseling by community pharmacists in Parana, Brazil. Pharm Pract (Granada). 2015;13(4):597.
18. Mehuys E, Van Bortel L, De Bolle L, et al. Self-medication of upper gastrointestinal symptoms: a community pharmacy study.Ann Pharmacother. 2009;43(5):890-898.
19. Takahashi Y, Ishii I, Mochizuki M, et al. Questionnaire on reciprocal patient-pharmacist relationships for good self-medicationpractices. Jpn J Drug Inform. 2016;18(3):160-171.
20. LaBrie J, Earleywine M, Lamb T, et al. Comparing electronic-keypad responses to paper and pencil questionnaires in groupassessments of alcohol consumption and related attitudes. Addict Behav. 2006;31(12):2334-2338.