Whether visual information loss of expression by community pharmacist masks to effect a change in feeling of trust among help-seeker?

Keiko Kishimoto, Akiko Hasaka, Katsunori Yamaura, Noriko Fukushima

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Pharmacy is required to shift toward human service such as hearing the complaints of health. But the study about help-seeking behavior to pharmacist is not really investigated. We hypothesized that a decrease in expression visibility, due to pharmacists' typical masks, may negatively impact help-seeker' trust in pharmacist. The sample included 100 drugstore customers aged ≥18 years. Participants were stratified by gender and randomly assigned to two groups: evaluation of clear-masked and normal-masked pharmacists. After viewing a video with either male or female pharmacists wearing either clear or normal masks, participants completed a questionnaire. The primary outcome was trust in pharmacist measured by the Trust Scale and the secondary outcome was impression of the pharmacist measured by nineteen pairs of adjectives. There were no differences by gender on trust scores. Results revealed that both male and female pharmacists who wore clear masks were rated as more trustworthy than normal-masked pharmacists (p<0.001, d=0.903, andp=0.001, d=0.716, respectively). Sixteen of nineteen adjectives reported for pharmacists wearing normal masks indicated greater negative intention than those with clear masks (d=0.431-1.469). In most cases, among pharmacists wearing clear masks, results showed positive correlations between trust and each impression adjective (r=0.279-0.710). Our findings indicate that pharmacists wearing normal masks, which partially hide facial expressions, may decrease customer's trust in pharmacist. Further, normal masks were associated with negative impression. To avoid the inhibition of help-seek behavior, we recommend that pharmacists wear a clear mask and increase non-verbal communication.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1401-1413
Number of pages13
JournalYakugaku Zasshi
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Consultation
  • Help-seeking behavior
  • Mask
  • Nonverbal communication
  • Pharmacist
  • Trust

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Science


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