National survey of pharmacists, intern pharmacists and pharmacy students in Australia: the nature and extent of stress and well-being

Colin B. Chapman, Sally G. Wilson, David I. Wilson, M. Kay Dunkley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Objectives: A national survey of the Australian pharmacy workforce was conducted to determine the extent to stress experienced, the extent to which it is work-related, how stress is managed, the barriers to getting help and how well prepared the workforce is for stressful situations. There were three objectives: provision of guidance on possible interventions; provision of a baseline for further studies; and provision of information to the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Authority (AHPRA). Methods: An online survey incorporating the 10-item Perceived Stress Scale was developed, piloted and launched in October 2016. Pharmacy-related organisations alerted their members to the voluntary survey. Popular pharmacy social media was used. Responses were analysed using SPSS and Excel. The a priori for significance was P < 0.05. Key findings: In relation to the nature and extent of stress in the workforce and work-life balance, information provided by 1246 respondents out of a workforce of 29 819 revealed high levels of stress (PSS-10 score 20.1 ± 7.3), with those under 30 years of age and/or with 10 years or less in the pharmacy workforce reporting the highest levels. Just under half the respondents reported dissatisfaction with their work-life balances. Conclusions: Workplace stress is high, particularly among younger members of the workforce. Professional pharmacy associations, schools of pharmacy at Australian universities and AHPRA have been alerted to this issue. The survey should be repeated reasonably soon to determine if any of the key characteristics have changed, particularly if interventions are made to reduce the occurrence of workplace-related stress.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)355-361
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Pharmacy Practice
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020


  • pharmacy workforce
  • stress
  • well-being

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