Role of community pharmacists in weight management: results of a national study in Lebanon


Background: Ideally situated within the community, pharmacists can be involved in a broad range of health promotion campaigns including prevention of obesity. Limited evidence is available regarding their involvement in weight management in Lebanon, a country with escalating prevalence rate of obesity. Objective: To examine the role of community pharmacists in weight management in Lebanon, specifically studying their beliefs, current practices, services, and knowledge. Methods: Using a stratified random sampling approach, a cross sectional national survey of community pharmacists was conducted (n = 341, response rate 89%). At the pharmacy, and through a face-to-face interview, pharmacists completed a multi-component questionnaire that addressed, in addition to socio-demographic and work characteristics, their beliefs, practices, knowledge in relation to weight management. Frequencies and proportions were used to describe the data. Simple and multiple linear regression analyses were used to examine the determinants of knowledge in the study population. Results: Over 80% of study participants agreed that they have an important role to play in weight management. However, 50% of pharmacists did not agree that weight loss products are well regulated and 81.1% thought that companies marketing weight loss products are making false promises. The majority of pharmacists always/often sold weight loss products (84.7%) and counseled their patients for diet (86.3%) and physical activity (91.7%). Despite taking weight and height measurements, 50% of pharmacists rarely/never calculated BMI. Among the pharmacists who reported side effects of weight loss products (46.5%), the majority (91.3%) did so to the pharmaceutical company. The knowledge of pharmacists was better for the use of weight loss products as opposed to their side effects and interactions. Significant predictors of knowledge were holding a Masters/ PhD degree in Pharmacy, graduating from a university inside Lebanon, obtaining weight management training within the academic degree, and receiving inquiries about weight management in the pharmacy more than once daily. Conclusions: The results of the study provided important insights on the beliefs, practices and knowledge of community pharmacists in weight management in Lebanon. These findings could be used to inform the development of future evidence-based community pharmacists led weight management service provision nationally and internationally


Mohamad Ali Mustafa Hijazi


Abdalla Mohamad El-lakany, Maha Ahmed Aboulela, Farah Naja

Journal/Conference Information

BMC Health Services Research,DOI:, Volume: 20, Issue: 386, Pages Range: 1-16,