People under the age of 60 have increasingly engaged in self-care during the Covid-19 crisis, according to a study.
Online research by market research company 3Gem Research and communications agency Pegasus indicates that 20 per cent of people aged under 60 bought more multivitamins, while 17 per cent purchased more immunity-boosting vitamins during the pandemic.
The study also found that fewer people relied on GPs to address concerns about minor ailments, with 77 per cent saying it was more appropriate and convenient to visit a pharmacy.
People aged 50 and over had the highest levels of trust in pharmacists; 71 per cent said they trust a pharmacist to advise on diagnosing minor ailments, 83 per cent on advice for medicines and 66 per cent for advice on flu vaccines.
Thirty-nine per said they buy non-prescription medicines in pharmacies, with 52 per cent saying they did so because of the convenience and 32 per cent for the advice pharmacists provide.
However, Covid-19 had a negative impact on people’s well-being overall, with 43 per cent saying they gained weight while one in 10 was smoking more often and many were struggling with their mental health.
“A few areas could be falling through the gaps with a reduction in GP visits for areas such as anxiety and stress but seemingly no uplift in pharmacy visits," according to the study.
The survey, which drew responses from 4,000 adults in the UK, was carried out last month.
“The results around increased trust in the pharmacist is hugely encouraging but this data also throws up some real concerns around the negative impact the pandemic has had on our health,” said Helen Donovan, Self Care Forum chair and professional lead for public health at the Royal College of Nursing.
“However, these are areas where the community pharmacist can make a real impact and provide support in areas that are currently being missed completely.”