- Howard, Mitchell S; DiDonato, Kristen L; Schroeder, Michelle N; Janovick, Daniel L; Powers, Mary F; Azzi, Andrew G; Lengel, Aaron J
- Abstract Objectives To identify athletes’ interests in receiving advice about sports supplements from a pharmacist in a supermarket setting and to identify pharmacists’ knowledge, confidence, and enthusiasm for providing counseling on various sports supplements. Methods Two cross-sectional surveys were developed and administered. One survey was administered to athletes at local northwestern Ohio fitness facilities, and 1 survey was administered to pharmacists in chain pharmacies during mid-February to mid-March 2017. The athlete survey gathered demographic information, information sources, products purchased, including their location and selection factors, and perceptions of pharmacists providing sports supplement counseling. The pharmacist survey gathered demographic information; knowledge, confidence, and enthusiasm for providing sports supplement counseling; perceptions of counseling benefit; and barriers to implementation of providing a sports supplement counseling service. Results The athlete survey had 129 participants. Athletes primarily reported obtaining sports supplement information from supplement stores, and only 2% indicated using a pharmacist. Although 52% said they would talk to a pharmacist about sports supplements, 66% said their perception of a pharmacist’s fitness level would influence whether or not they would approach him or her. The pharmacist survey had 143 participants. On a 5-point Likert-type scale (1 = strongly disagree and 5 = strongly agree), the mean (SD) of their knowledge, confidence, and enthusiasm statements were 2.49 (0.89); 2.61 (0.94); and 3.54 (0.87), respectively. Ninety-two percent (n = 130) of pharmacists thought it would be beneficial to provide counseling on sports supplements. Perceived barriers included lack of knowledge, evidence, and time. Conclusion Pharmacists were not identified as a primary resource for sports supplements, but athletes would be willing to discuss this topic with knowledgeable and physically fit pharmacists. Pharmacists felt that they lacked knowledge and confidence regarding sports supplement products but noted enthusiasm to provide counseling. Sports pharmacy counseling could be a viable expansion of pharmacy services in community pharmacies with proper education and tools.
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