Drug therapy is the most often used intervention for treatment and prevention of disease. However, if used inappropriately, drugs can cause more harm than good. Improper drug storage and disposal can have a direct impact on public safety, the environment, and the health care services. The purpose of this study was to characterize medications stored in Qatar homes and to explore their methods of storage and disposal, and to identify the public’s source of information related to medicines.
For the purpose of this cross-sectional exploratory study, a list of telephone numbers was generated from Qatar’s telephone directory using a systematic sampling method. Individuals consenting to participate were interviewed using a multipart pretested survey instrument.
Data were collected from a total of 49 homes. Most respondents did not have a designated compartment or box specifically for storing medications. The majority of drugs (48%) were kept in bedrooms and a number of respondents were keeping their drugs in the fridge and in the kitchen. The most often stored classes of medicines were analgesics, antihistamines, nutritional supplements, and medications used for the respiratory system. Most respondents disposed of unwanted medicines by throwing them in the trash. In about 15% of cases, the dosage of drug taken was different from the instructions on the label. Sharing of prescription medicines was not uncommon. The majority of respondents sought information related to drugs from doctors.
These findings raise concerns about how medications are stored and disposed of in the community. The fact that no household routinely returned unwanted medications to a pharmacy for proper disposal places the environment at risk. There is a need for more societal awareness about the safe handling and storage of drugs in the home, and about the professional role of the pharmacist.
medication; home; Qatar; storage; disposal
Self-care, including self-medication with over-the-counter (OTC) drugs, facilitates the public’s increased willingness to assume greater responsibility for their own health. Direct consultation with pharmacists provides efficient professional guidance for safe and appropriate OTC use.
The purpose of this study was to characterize patient perceptions of pharmacists and use of nonprescription therapy in an ambulatory care population in Qatar.
Patients having prescriptions filled at one organization’s private medical clinics during two distinct two-week periods were invited to participate in a short verbal questionnaire. Awareness of pharmacist roles in guiding OTC drug selection was assessed, as were patient preferences for OTC indications. Attitudes towards pharmacist and nurse drug knowledge and comfort with direct dispensing were also evaluated.
Five hundred seventy patients participated representing 29 countries. Most respondents were men (92.1%) with mean age of 38.3 years. Almost 1 in 7 did not know medical complaints could be assessed by a pharmacist (15.3%) and 1 in 5 (21.9%) were unaware pharmacists could directly supply OTC therapy. The majority (85.3%) would be interested in this service. In general, respondents were more comfortable with medication and related advice supplied by pharmacists as opposed to nursing professionals.
Patients were familiar with the roles of pharmacists as they pertain to self-medication with OTC therapy and described the desire to use such a service within this Qatar ambulatory health care setting.
patient; self-medication; over-the-counter; pharmacist; Qatar
Pharmacists are uniquely trained to provide guidance to patients in the selection of appropriate non-prescription therapy. Physicians in Qatar may not always recognize how pharmacists function in assuring safe medication use. Both these health professional groups come from heterogeneous training and experiences before migrating to the country and these backgrounds could influence collaborative patient care. Qatar Petroleum (QP), the largest private employer in the country, has developed a pharmacist-guided medication consulting service at their primary care clinics, but physician comfort with pharmacists recommending drug therapy is currently unknown. The objective of this study is to characterize physician perceptions of pharmacists and their roles in a primary care patient setting in Qatar.
This cross-sectional survey was developed following a comprehensive literature review and administered in English and Arabic. Consenting QP physicians were asked questions to assess experiences, comfort and expectations of pharmacist roles and abilities to provide medication-related advice and recommend and monitor therapies.
The median age of the 62 (77.5%) physicians who responded was between 40 and 50 years old and almost two-third were men (64.5%). Fourteen different nationalities were represented. Physicians were more comfortable with pharmacist activities closely linked to drug products than responsibilities associated with monitoring and optimization of patient outcomes. Medication education (96.6%) and drug knowledge (90%) were practically unanimously recognized as abilities expected of pharmacists, but consultative roles, such as assisting in drug regimen design were less acknowledged. They proposed pharmacist spend more time with physicians attending joint meetings or education events to help advance acceptance of pharmacists in patient-centered care at this site.
Physicians had low comfort and expectations of patient-oriented pharmacist roles but were not threatened to learn more about these capabilities or explore enhanced collaboration in patient care.
Physician; Perceptions; Pharmacists; Qatar
To determine pharmacy students' attitudes towards a required public health course and developing a public health program.
Two hundred ten first-year pharmacy students enrolled in a public health course at a large private pharmacy school were surveyed. A 24-item adjective rating scale and a 10-item scale were used to measure students' attitudes towards the course and developing a public health program.
Of 198 respondents, two-thirds found the course to be extremely or very appealing, of practical value, and only slightly demanding and difficult. The majority of the students indicated that establishing a public health program would be an opportunity to help the community and make a difference. Few students indicated that it would be a poor use of time or an example of busy work.
Pharmacy students had positive attitudes towards a required public health course and developing a public health program. Strategies to mold positive attitudes into actual behaviors of engaging in public health activities are needed.
public health; attitudes; pharmacy curriculum
Expanded pharmacist prescribing is a new professional practice area for pharmacists. Currently, Australian pharmacists’ prescribing role is limited to over-the-counter medications. This review aims to identify Australian studies involving the area of expanded pharmacist prescribing. Australian studies exploring the issues of pharmacist prescribing were identified and considered in the context of its implementation internationally. Australian studies have mainly focused on the attitudes of community and hospital pharmacists towards such an expansion. Studies evaluating the views of Australian consumers and pharmacy clients were also considered. The available Australian literature indicated support from pharmacists and pharmacy clients for an expanded pharmacist prescribing role, with preference for doctors retaining a primary role in diagnosis. Australian pharmacists and pharmacy client’s views were also in agreement in terms of other key issues surrounding expanded pharmacist prescribing. These included the nature of an expanded prescribing model, the need for additional training for pharmacists and the potential for pharmacy clients gaining improved medication access, which could be achieved within an expanded role that pharmacists could provide. Current evidence from studies conducted in Australia provides valuable insight to relevant policymakers on the issue of pharmacist prescribing in order to move the agenda of pharmacist prescribing forwards.
Pharmacist prescribing; Australia; pharmacy clients; Australian pharmacy; non-medical prescribing
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that the role of pharmacists in low-income settings be expanded to address the increasing complexity of HIV antiretroviral (ARV) and co-infection drug regimens. However, in many such settings including in India, many pharmacists and pharmacy workers are often neither well trained nor aware of the intricacies of HIV treatment. The aims of our study were; to determine the availability of ARVs, provision of ARVs, knowledge about ARVs, attitudes towards HIV-infected persons and self-perceived need for training among community-based pharmacies in an urban area of India.
We performed a survey of randomly selected, community-based pharmacies located in Pune, India, in 2004-2005 to determine the availability of ARVs at these pharmacies, how they were providing ARVs and their self-perceived need for training. We also assessed knowledge, attitudes and perceptions on HIV and ARVs and factors associated with stocking ARVs.
Of 207 pharmacies included in the survey, 200 (96.6%) were single, private establishments. Seventy-three (35.3%) pharmacies stocked ARVs and 38 (18.4%) ordered ARVs upon request. The reported median number of ARV pills that patients bought at one time was 30, a two week supply of ARVs (range: 3-240 pills). Six (2.9%) pharmacy respondents reported selling non-allopathic medicines (i.e. Ayurvedic, homeopathy) for HIV. Ninety (44.2%) pharmacy respondents knew that ARVs cannot cure HIV, with those stocking ARVs being more likely to respond correctly (60.3% vs. 34.8%, p = 0.001). Respondents of pharmacies which stocked ARVs were also more likely to believe it was a professional obligation to provide medications to HIV-infected persons (91.8% vs. 78.8%, p = 0.007) but they were also more likely to believe that HIV-infected persons are unable to adhere to their medicines (79.5% vs. 40.9%, p < 0.01). Knowledge of the most common side effects of nevirapine, abnormal liver enzyme profile and skin rash, was reported correctly by 8 (3.9%) and 23 (11.1%) respondents, respectively. Seven (3.4%) respondents reported that they had received special training on HIV, 3 (1.5%) reported receipt of special training on ART and 167 (80.7%) reported that they believed that pharmacy staff should get special training on ART.
There is a high willingness to participate in HIV management among community-based pharmacies but there is a tremendous need for training on HIV therapies. Furthermore, stigmatizing attitudes towards HIV-infected persons persist and interventions to reduce stigma are needed, particularly among those that stock ARVs.
Objective. To understand technicians’ attitudes toward teaching student pharmacists and students’ attitudes toward learning from technicians.
Methods. Survey data concerning technicians’ perceived importance of pharmacy skills and their confidence in teaching those skills to student pharmacists were collected, as was survey data concerning students’ comfort level with learning skills from technicians. Skills included in each survey aligned with common student pharmacist competencies and the pharmacy technician certification examination.
Results. Fifty-eight (92.1%) responses were received from technicians and 141(97.9%) student survey instruments were returned. The skills that pharmacy technicians perceived to be most important and felt most comfortable teaching included filling a prescription and communicating effectively with patients. With the exception of communication, these skills also aligned with what the students were most comfortable learning from technicians.
Conclusions. Student pharmacists have learning goals that align with the daily tasks of pharmacy technicians. The survey results highlight areas in which technicians could be used to educate student pharmacists.
introductory pharmacy practice experiences; pharmacy technicians; survey
Objective. To develop and assess the impact of an elective course (HealthWISE) on student pharmacists’ skills in communication and health promotion and elementary school students’ knowledge of and attitudes toward science.
Design. Three colleges and schools of pharmacy collaborated to develop a 1-credit elective course that used online and classroom teaching and learning techniques to prepare student pharmacists to teach science in elementary school classrooms. Student pharmacists delivered 6 science lessons to elementary students over the course of 2 months.
Assessment. In weekly journal reflections and a final paper, student pharmacists reported improved communication and health promotion skills. Elementary teachers reported they were satisfied with student pharmacists’ performance in the classroom. On pretest and posttest evaluations, elementary students demonstrated increased science knowledge and enhanced enthusiasm for science following the lessons taught by student pharmacists.
Conclusions. The HealthWISE elective course provided positive benefit for student pharmacists, elementary school teachers, and elementary students.
service-learning; communication skills; health promotion; STEM education
Pharmacists are key members of the healthcare team, especially in minority and urban communities. This study was developed to assess pharmacists' ability and willingness to counsel the public on prostate cancer in the community pharmacy setting. A mail survey was sent to all 192 community pharmacies in Washington, DC, and Prince George's County, Maryland. A total of 90 pharmacists responded to the questionnaire, providing a 46.9% response rate. One third of the pharmacists indicated a willingness to participate in a prostate cancer training program. Perceived benefits and perceived barriers were each measured through five questionnaire items using Likert-style statements with responses ranging from "strongly agree" to "strongly disagree." The most significant predictor of perceived benefits of providing prostate cancer information was gender; male pharmacists perceived greater benefits for providing prostate cancer information than female pharmacists. Similarly, black pharmacists perceived greater benefits of providing prostate cancer information to their patients than non-black pharmacists. Also, pharmacists in stores that offered disease state management programs had a significantly lower perceived benefit of providing prostate cancer information. These findings indicate that gender and race may play a role in health promotion in health disparities. There were no significant barriers to providing prostate cancer information. Thus, many pharmacists are willing to participate in health education on prostate cancer.
There is scant knowledge of the involvement of developing country pharmacists in mental healthcare. The objectives of this study were: to examine the existing role of Ghanaian community and hospital pharmacists in the management of mental illness, and to determine the barriers that hinder pharmacists' involvement in mental healthcare in Ghana.
A respondent self-completion questionnaire was randomly distributed to 120 superintendent community pharmacists out of an estimated 240 pharmacists in Kumasi, Ashanti Region of Ghana. A purposive sampling method was utilized in selecting two public psychiatric hospital pharmacists in Accra, the capital city of Ghana for a face-to-face interview. A semi-structured interview guide was employed.
A 91.7% response rate was obtained for the community pharmacists' questionnaire survey. Approximately 65% of community pharmacists were not involved in mental health provision. Of the 35% who were, 57% counseled psychiatric patients and 44% of these dispensed medicines for mental illness. Perceived barriers that hindered community pharmacists' involvement in the management of mental health included inadequate education in mental health (cited by 81% of respondents) and a low level of encounter with patients (72%). The psychiatric hospital pharmacists were mostly involved in the dispensing of medicines from the hospital pharmacy.
Both community and hospital pharmacists in Ghana were marginally involved in the provision of mental healthcare. The greatest barrier cited was inadequate knowledge in mental health.
The inclusion of pharmacies in health centres has created opportunities for general practitioners to become better acquainted with the potential contribution of pharmacists to health care. A qualitative study has been made to explore the extent to which this potential has been realized. Ten health centres with an integral pharmacy were selected, one from each of the regional health authorities in England which had at least one such health centre. Interviews were conducted with 13 general practitioners and 10 pharmacists working in the health centres. Nine general practitioners working in health centres without pharmacies and 10 community pharmacists were also interviewed. General practitioners' attitudes towards health centre pharmacists appeared to differ markedly from the attitudes of colleagues working in relative isolation from pharmacists. It appears that general practitioners working closely with the pharmacist develop a collaborative approach to health care.
BACKGROUND: The National Health Service (NHS) intends to introduce a system of electronic transfer of prescription-related information between general practitioners (GPs) and community pharmacies. The NHS Plan describes how this will be achieved. AIM: To gather opinions of patients, GPs, and community pharmacists on the development of a system of electronic transfer of prescription-related information between GPs and community pharmacies. DESIGN OF STUDY: Survey combining interviews, focus groups, and postal questionnaires. SETTING: General practitioners, opinion leaders, computing experts, pharmacists, and patients. Eight hundred members of the public, 200 GPs, and 200 community pharmacists, all living in Scotland. METHOD: Content-setting interviews and focus groups were conducted with purposive samples of relevant groups. Postal questionnaires were developed and sent to random samples of members of the public selected from the electoral roll, GPs, and community pharmacists. RESULTS: The corrected postal response rates were: 69% (patients); 74% (GPs); and 74% (community pharmacists). All three groups were generally supportive of electronic transfer of prescription-related information. Different aspects appealed to each group: patients anticipated improved convenience; GPs, better repeat prescribing; and pharmacists, an enhanced professional role. Security of patient-identifiable information was the main concern. All groups acknowledged potential benefits of a full primary care information system, but GPs and patients had reservations about allowing community pharmacists to access parts of the medical record that did not concern medication. CONCLUSION: Electronic transfer of prescription-related information is likely to be acceptable to all users, but concerns about patient confidentiality and an extended role for pharmacists in prescription management need to be addressed.
The increasing involvement of pharmacists in public health will require changes in the behaviour of both pharmacists and the general public. A great deal of research has shown that attitudes and beliefs are important determinants of behaviour. This review aims to examine the beliefs and attitudes of pharmacists and consumers towards pharmaceutical public health in order to inform how best to support and improve this service.
Five electronic databases were searched for articles published in English between 2001 and 2010. Titles and abstracts were screened by one researcher according to the inclusion criteria. Papers were included if they assessed pharmacy staff or consumer attitudes towards pharmaceutical public health. Full papers identified for inclusion were assessed by a second researcher and data were extracted by one researcher.
From the 5628 papers identified, 63 studies in 67 papers were included. Pharmacy staff: Most pharmacists viewed public health services as important and part of their role but secondary to medicine related roles. Pharmacists' confidence in providing public health services was on the whole average to low. Time was consistently identified as a barrier to providing public health services. Lack of an adequate counselling space, lack of demand and expectation of a negative reaction from customers were also reported by some pharmacists as barriers. A need for further training was identified in relation to a number of public health services. Consumers: Most pharmacy users had never been offered public health services by their pharmacist and did not expect to be offered. Consumers viewed pharmacists as appropriate providers of public health advice but had mixed views on the pharmacists' ability to do this. Satisfaction was found to be high in those that had experienced pharmaceutical public health
There has been little change in customer and pharmacist attitudes since reviews conducted nearly 10 years previously. In order to improve the public health services provided in community pharmacy, training must aim to increase pharmacists' confidence in providing these services. Confident, well trained pharmacists should be able to offer public health service more proactively which is likely to have a positive impact on customer attitudes and health.
In many countries, community pharmacists can be consulted without appointment in a large number of convenient locations. They are in an ideal position to give advice to patients at the onset of low back pain and also reinforce advice given by other healthcare professionals. There is little specific information about the quality of care provided in the pharmacy for people with back pain. The main objectives of this survey were to determine the attitudes, knowledge and reported practice of English pharmacists advising people who present with acute or chronic low back pain.
A questionnaire was designed for anonymous self-completion by pharmacists attending continuing education sessions. Demographic questions were designed to allow comparison with a national pharmacy workforce survey. Attitudes were measured with the Back Beliefs Questionnaire (BBQ) and questions based on the Working Backs Scotland campaign. Questions about the treatment of back pain in the community pharmacy were written (or adapted) to reflect and characterise the nature of practice. In response to two clinical vignettes, respondents were asked to select proposals that they would recommend in practice.
335 responses from community pharmacists were analysed. Middle aged pharmacists, women, pharmacy managers and locums were over-represented compared to registration and workforce data. The mean (SD) BBQ score for the pharmacists was 31.37 (5.75), which was slightly more positive than in similar surveys of other groups. Those who had suffered from back pain seem to demonstrate more confidence (fewer negative feelings, more advice opportunities and better advice provision) in their perception of advice given in the pharmacy. Awareness of written information that could help to support practice was low. Reponses to the clinical vignettes were generally in line with the evidence base. Pharmacists expressed some caution about recommending activity. Most respondents said they would benefit from more education about back pain.
Those sampled generally expressed positive attitudes about back pain and were able to offer evidence based advice. Pharmacists may benefit from training to increase their ability and confidence to offer support for self-care in back pain. Further research would be useful to clarify the representativeness of the sample.
To understand the contribution of the Medicines Use Review consultation to counseling practice in community pharmacies.
Qualitative study involving ten weeks of observations in two community pharmacies and interviews with patients and pharmacy staff.
‘Traditional’ counseling on prescription medicines involved the unilateral transfer of information from pharmacist to patient. Over-the-counter discussions were initiated by patients and offered more scope for patient participation. The recently introduced MUR service offers new opportunities for pharmacists’ role development in counseling patients about their medicines use. However, the study findings revealed that MUR consultations were brief encounters dominated by closed questions, enabling quick and easy completion of the MUR form. Interactions resembled counseling when handing out prescription medicines. Patients rarely asked questions and indeterminate issues were often circumvented by the pharmacist when they did. MURs did little to increase patients’ knowledge and rarely affected medicine use, although some felt reassured about their medicines. Pragmatic constraints of workload and pharmacy organisation undermined pharmacists’ capacity to implement the MUR service effectively.
Pharmacists failed to fully realise the opportunity offered by MURs being constrained by situational pressures.
Pharmacist consultation skills need to be reviewed if MURs are to realise their intended aims.
Counseling; Medicines Use Reviews; Patient centred; Patient–pharmacist communication; Pharmacy practice
To characterize prescribing error interventions documented by pharmacists in four pharmacies in a primary health care service in Qatar.
The study was conducted in a primary health care service in the State of Qatar in the period from January to March 2008. Pharmacists in four clinics within the service used online, integrated health care software to document all clinical interventions made. Documented information included: patient’s age and gender, drug therapy details, the intervention’s details, its category, and its outcome. Interventions were categorized according to the Pharmaceutical Care Network Europe Classification of drug-related problems (DRP).
The number of patients who had their prescriptions intercepted were 589 (0.71% of the total 82,800 prescriptions received). The intercepted prescriptions generated 890 DRP-related interventions (an average of 1.9% DRPs identified across the four clinics). Fifty-four percent of all interventions were classified as drug choice problems, and 42% had safety problems (dose too high, potential significant interaction). The prescriber accepted the intervention in 53% of all interventions, and the treatment was changed accordingly. Interventions as a result of transcription errors, legality and formulary issues were eliminated from this study through the use of computerized physician order entry (CPOE).
Documenting and analyzing interventions should be a routine activity in pharmacy practice setting in primary health care services. Educational outreach visits and other strategies can improve prescribing practices and enhance patient safety.
pharmacists; interventions; prescribing errors
Pharmacists, with expertise in optimizing drug therapy outcomes, are valuable components of the healthcare team and are becoming increasingly involved in public health efforts. Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians in diverse community pharmacy settings can implement a variety of asthma interventions when they are brief, supported by appropriate tools, and integrated into the workflow. The Asthma Friendly Pharmacy (AFP) model addresses the challenges of providing patient-focused care in a community pharmacy setting by offering education to pharmacists and pharmacy technicians on asthma-related pharmaceutical care services, such as identifying or resolving medication-related problems; educating patients about asthma and medication-related concepts; improving communication and strengthening relationships between pharmacists, patients, and other healthcare providers; and establishing higher expectations for the pharmacist’s role in patient care and public health efforts. This article describes the feasibility of the model in an urban community pharmacy setting and documents the interventions and communication activities promoted through the AFP model.
Asthma; Community pharmacy; Pharmacists; Pharmaceutical care; Collaboration; Communication
To examine the relationship between pharmacy college/school affiliation and community pharmacies' involvement in immunization and emergency preparedness activities.
Telephone interviews were completed with 1,704 community pharmacies randomly sampled from 17 states to determine the pharmacies' involvement in immunization promotion, vaccine distribution, in-house immunization delivery, and health emergency preparedness and response, affiliation with college/school of pharmacy, and selected pharmacy and public health-related characteristics.
Pharmacy college/school-affiliated community pharmacies were more likely than non-affiliated pharmacies to participate in immunization and emergency preparedness when controlling for pharmacy characteristics. College/school affiliation generally became nonsignificant, however, when public health-related characteristics were included in the analysis.
Affiliation with a college/school of pharmacy was related to community pharmacies' involvement in immunization and emergency preparedness.
experiential learning; public health; school of pharmacy; college of pharmacy; community pharmacy; immunization
Background and objective
Chlamydia trachomatis infection is a common sexually transmitted infection with serious sequelae. Excellent access to testing, treatment and contact tracing are an essential part of strategies to control it. With traditional sexual health services overstretched, community pharmacies are well placed to provide this service. They have the potential to improve access by offering chlamydia testing and treatment from high street venues with long opening hours. This study evaluated the feasibility and acceptability to users and pharmacists of this service in independent community pharmacies.
A chlamydia testing and treatment service was offered in three community pharmacies in two inner London boroughs for a 3‐month pilot. Data on the feasibility and acceptability of the new service were collected via a survey of client experience, indepth semistructured interviews with clients and pharmacists, and structured evaluation reports completed by professional patients paid to visit the pharmacies.
83 tests were taken with eight (9.5%) of these positive for C trachomatis. Of those tested, 94% (n = 73) were women and 71% (n = 56) were from ethnic minorities. 80 clients completed the questionnaires and 24 clients were interviewed. Most clients heard about the service from the pharmacist when requesting emergency contraception and 16% (n = 13) would not otherwise have been tested. Clients valued the speed and convenience of the service and the friendly, non‐judgmental approach of the pharmacist. Confidentiality when asking for the service at the counter was suboptimal, and the pharmacist trained to deliver the service was not always available to provide it.
Chlamydia testing and treatment in community pharmacies is feasible and acceptable to users. The service increases access among young women at high risk of sexually transmitted infection but not among young men.
Recent advances in medical technology and key discoveries in biomedical research have the potential to improve human health in an unprecedented fashion. As a result, many of the Arab Gulf countries, particularly Qatar are devoting increasing resources toward establishing centers of excellence in biomedical research. However, there are challenges that must be overcome. The low profile of private medical institutions and their negligible endowments in the region are examples of such challenges. Business-type government controlled universities are not the solution for overcoming the challenges facing higher education and research programs in the Middle East.
During the last decade, Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development has attracted six branch campuses of American Institutions of higher learning to the Education City in Qatar, a 2500-acre area, which is rapidly becoming a model of integrating higher education and research in the region. Not-for profit, time-tested education institutions from abroad in public-private partnership with local organizations offer favorable conditions to build robust research programs in the region. Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar (WCMC-Q) of Cornell University is an example such an institution. It is the first and only medical school in Qatar.
WCMC-Q's interwoven education, research and public health based framework lays a sturdy foundation for developing and implementing translational medicine research programs of importance to the State of Qatar and Middle Eastern nations. This approach is yielding positive results. Discoveries from this program should influence public policy in a positive fashion toward reducing premature mortality and morbidity due to diabetes, obesity, heart disease and cancer, examples of health conditions commonly encountered in Qatar.
Pharmacies play a special role in providing treatment services for patients with sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in China. There is a need to study the STD/human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) knowledge among pharmacy workers in retail pharmacies.
A total of 200 pharmacy workers were recruited from 120 randomly selected retail pharmacies in Fuzhou, China. A self-administrated questionnaire was used to collect information of demographics, working experience, pharmacy structure and clientele profile, and pharmacy workers’ attitudes toward traditional Chinese folk remedies and their STD/HIV knowledge.
Work-related training during the past 6 months, holding pharmacist license, and years of being a pharmacy worker showed significant association with STD/HIV knowledge. Work-related training also significantly associated with provision of consultation. Years of education and medical training, however, failed to show significant association with STD/HIV knowledge.
In order to improve service quality and avoid misdiagnosis and inappropriate treatment of STD/HIV, on-the-job training or continuous education for pharmacy workers should be required, implemented, and monitored as part of the national effort for STD control and treatment.
To compare practice settings and activities of pharmacists with bachelor of science (BS) in pharmacy and doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) degrees.
Data from the 2009 National Pharmacist Workforce Survey instrument were analyzed. Multivariate regression was used to examine the association of the PharmD degree with time spent in dispensing and patient care.
The survey response rate by pharmacists was 52%, and 562 usable responses met our inclusion criteria. Sixty-three percent of BS and 39% of PharmD pharmacists were employed in community pharmacies, compared with 21% of BS and 38% of PharmD pharmacists employed in hospital pharmacy settings. Practicing in a community setting had the strongest influence on time spent in dispensing and time spent in patient care. Among respondents with PharmD degrees, a residency was associated with less time in dispensing and more time in patient care.
Time spent in dispensing and patient care were influenced more by practice setting than by educational degree and residency training.
degrees; graduates; pharmacist; workforce
Hospital pharmacists participate in activities that may be considered diagnostic. Two reasoning approaches to diagnosis have been described: non-analytic and analytic. Of the 6 analytic traditions, the probabilistic tradition has been shown to improve diagnostic accuracy and reduce unnecessary testing. To the authors’ knowledge, pharmacists’ attitudes toward having a diagnostic role and their diagnostic knowledge and skills have never been studied.
To describe pharmacists’ attitudes toward the role of diagnosis in pharmacotherapeutic problem-solving and to characterize the extent of pharmacists’ knowledge and skills related to diagnostic literacy.
Pharmacists working within Lower Mainland Pharmacy Services (British Columbia) who spent at least 33% of their time in direct patient care were invited to participate in a prospective observational survey. The survey sought information about demographic characteristics and attitudes toward diagnosis. Diagnostic knowledge and skills were tested by means of 3 case scenarios. The analysis included simple descriptive statistics and inferential statistics to evaluate relationships between responses and experience and training.
Of 266 pharmacists invited to participate, 94 responded. The attitudes section of the survey was completed by 90 pharmacists; of these, 80 (89%) agreed with the definition of “diagnosis” proposed in the survey, and 83 (92%) agreed that it is important for pharmacists to have diagnosis-related skills. Respondents preferred an analytic to a non-analytic approach to diagnostic decision-making. The probabilistic tradition was not the preferred method in any of the 3 cases. In evaluating 5 clinical scenarios that might require diagnostic skills, on average 84% of respondents agreed that they should be involved in assessing such problems. Respondents’ knowledge of and ability to apply probabilistic diagnostic tools were highest for test sensitivity (average of 61% of respondents with the correct answers) and lower for test specificity (average of 48% with correct answers) and likelihood ratios (average of 39% with correct answers).
Respondents to this survey strongly believed that diagnostic skills were important for solving drug-related problems, but they demonstrated low levels of knowledge and ability to apply concepts of probabilistic diagnostic reasoning. Opportunities to expand pharmacists’ knowledge of diagnostic reasoning exist, and the findings reported here indicate that pharmacists would consider such professional development valuable.
diagnostic literacy; diagnostic traditions; pharmacists’ diagnosing; probabilistic diagnostic tools; connaissances diagnostiques; traditions diagnostiques; diagnostic établi par les pharmaciens; outils de diagnostic probabiliste
Objectives. To examine pharmacist-targeted master of business administration (MBA) degree programs and investigate pharmacists’ perceptions regarding them.
Methods. Specialized MBA programs in pharmaceutical marketing and management offered at US colleges and schools of pharmacy were identified in the literature and compared. Pharmacists’ perceptions of MBA programs were evaluated through a survey of clinical preceptors affiliated with a school of pharmacy.
Results. Seven US universities that offer an MBA program in pharmaceutical marketing and management were identified. Thirty-three percent of the 57 pharmacist preceptors who responded to the survey reported plans to pursue an MBA degree program. Respondents preferred MBA programs related to healthcare or pharmacy (66%) over general MBA programs (33%).
Conclusion. An MBA in pharmaceutical marketing and management could provide pharmacists with advanced knowledge of the operational and strategic business aspects of pharmacy practice and give pharmacy graduates an advantage in an increasingly competitive job market.
master of business administration (MBA); marketing; management; business; pharmaceutical industry; dual PharmD/MBA degree program
Complementary medicines (CMs) are popular amongst Australians and community pharmacy is a major supplier of these products. This study explores pharmacy customer use, attitudes and perceptions of complementary medicines, and their expectations of pharmacists as they relate to these products.
Pharmacy customers randomly selected from sixty large and small, metropolitan and rural pharmacies in three Australian states completed an anonymous, self administered questionnaire that had been pre-tested and validated.
1,121 customers participated (response rate 62%). 72% had used CMs within the previous 12 months, 61% used prescription medicines daily and 43% had used both concomitantly. Multivitamins, fish oils, vitamin C, glucosamine and probiotics were the five most popular CMs. 72% of people using CMs rated their products as 'very effective' or 'effective enough'. CMs were as frequently used by customers aged 60 years or older as younger customers (69% vs. 72%) although the pattern of use shifted with older age.
Most customers (92%) thought pharmacists should provide safety information about CMs, 90% thought they should routinely check for interactions, 87% thought they should recommend effective CMs, 78% thought CMs should be recorded in customer's medication profile and 58% thought pharmacies stocking CMs should also employ a complementary medicine practitioner. Of those using CMs, 93% thought it important for pharmacists to be knowledgeable about CMs and 48% felt their pharmacist provides useful information about CMs.
CMs are widely used by pharmacy customers of all ages who want pharmacists to be more involved in providing advice about these products.