A segmentation analysis for pharmacists' and patients' views of pharmacists' roles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


Background: Pharmacists' roles in health care systems are expanding. However, some patients are slow to accept and make use of this expanded role. Objectives: The objectives for this study were to identify and describe segments of pharmacists and patients based upon their perceptions of the pharmacist's role in serving as an advisor on medication use. Methods: Data were collected from random samples of pharmacists and patients in 1995, 1998, 2001, 2004, 2007, and 2010. Overall, 1518 pharmacists (overall response rate = 47%) and 1278 patients (overall response rate = 42%) were surveyed from 1995 through 2010. Factor analysis was applied to a Counselor Role Orientation measure and identified three factors for use in segmentation analysis. The factors were: (1) Time Pressures, (2) Reliance on Physician, and (3) Pharmacist Restrictions. Segmentation analysis was conducted using a two-step cluster analysis with an agglomerative hierarchical clustering method and a log-likelihood (probability) distance measure. Descriptive statistics were used to describe identified segments. Results: Cluster analysis identified four segments which were named: (1) All Low, (2) Time Pressures, (3) Reliance On Physician, and (4) All High. The largest segment for pharmacists was Time Pressures (45% of pharmacists) and for patients was Reliance on Physician (50% of patients). Composition of the four segments was consistent over time between the years 1995 through2010. Conclusions: The pattern of findings suggested a cycle of dysfunction in which many pharmacists, hindered by Time Pressures, do not provide patient care beyond the dispensing of a product. In turn, patients, relying on their physician for advice about medications, do not acknowledge the pharmacist as an advisor for medications. This cycle has reinforced dysfunctional behaviors and creates no motivation for either party in this dyadic relationship to change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)508-528
Number of pages21
JournalResearch in Social and Administrative Pharmacy
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding for this study was provided by unrestricted funds at the University of Minnesota , University of Tennessee , University of Wisconsin , and The Ohio State University . Funding was also provided by The National Institutes of Health , Research Apprenticeship Program and the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy Grant Program .


  • Pharmacist roles
  • Segmentation analysis


Dive into the research topics of 'A segmentation analysis for pharmacists' and patients' views of pharmacists' roles'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this