Background Workplace stress in community pharmacy is increasing internationally due, in part, to pharmacists’ expanding roles and escalating workloads. Whilst the business case for preventing and managing workplace stress by employers is strong, there is little evidence for the effectiveness of organisational stress management interventions in community pharmacy settings.
Aim To identify and synthesise existing evidence for the effectiveness of organisational solutions to workplace stress from the wider organisational literature which may be adaptable to community pharmacies.
Method A secondary synthesis of existing reviews. Publications were identified through keyword searches of electronic databases and the internet; inclusion and exclusion criteria were applied; data about setting, intervention, method of evaluation, effectiveness and conclusions (including factors for success) were extracted and synthesised.
Findings Eighteen reviews of the stress management and prevention literature were identified. A comprehensive list of organisational interventions to prevent or manage workplace stress, ordered by prevalence of evidence of effectiveness, was produced, together with an ordered list of the benefits both to the individual and employing organisation. An evidence-based model of best practice was derived specifying eight factors for success: top management support; context-specific interventions; combined organisational and individual interventions; a participative approach; clearly delineated tasks and responsibilities; buy-in from middle management; change agents as facilitators; change in organisational culture.
Conclusions This literature review provide community pharmacy organisations with evidence from which to develop effective and successful stress management strategies to support pharmacists and pharmacy staff. Well-designed trials of stress management interventions in community pharmacy organisations are still required.