Analysis of pharmacy-centric blogs: Types, discourse themes, and issues

Jeff Cain, Gerald Dillon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Objectives: To determine types of pharmacy blogs in existence, themes of discourse on pharmacy blogs, and impressions of the profession generated by pharmacy blogs. Design: Descriptive, qualitative, cross-sectional study. Setting: Weblogs (blogs) on the World Wide Web in July 2009. Participants: Not applicable; pharmacy-centric blogs were analyzed. Intervention: Qualitative research methods were used to form categories and assign pharmacy-centric blogs to appropriate categories. Thematic analysis was used to study the discourse of blogs in the personal views category. Finally, blogs in the personal views category were analyzed further to determine what type of impression (positive, negative, or neutral) they gave the reader. Main outcome measures: Categories, themes, and impressions of blogs, as determined by analysis. Results: 136 blogs met study criteria. Seven main categories of pharmacy blogs emerged from the study. The majority of blogs were assigned to the news (n = 44) and personal views (n = 38) categories. Thematic analysis of blogs in the personal views category revealed 11 different themes. The top four blog post themes were issues with patients (n = 30), personal lives (n = 29), working conditions/issues (n = 20), and issues with other professionals (n = 19). A total of 24 (63%) blogs in the personal views category were judged as promoting a negative impression of pharmacists and/or the profession. Conclusion: The pharmacy blogosphere contains a variety of blog types. Most of these blogs studied were useful information resources for those in or considering the profession. However, a considerable number of pharmacy blogs contained derogatory posts regarding patients, other health care professionals, and/or the author's occupation as a pharmacist. Blogs such as these tend to generate a negative impression of pharmacy to the reader. The opportunity exists for pharmacists and pharmacy educators to use social media applications such as blogs to educate new pharmacists and advance the profession.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)714-719
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Pharmacists Association
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2010


  • Blogs
  • Internet
  • Pharmacists
  • Professionalism
  • Social media

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (nursing)
  • Pharmacy
  • Pharmacology


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