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1.  Pharmacy students’ attitudes toward pharmaceutical care in Qatar 
Objectives
The study objectives were to investigate Qatar pharmacy students’ attitudes toward pharmaceutical care (PC), to identify the factors that influence their attitudes, and to recognize their perceived barriers for PC provision.
Methods
A cross-sectional and online survey of Qatar pharmacy students was conducted.
Results
Over 4 weeks, 46 surveys were submitted (88% response rate). All respondents agreed that the pharmacist’s primary responsibility is to prevent and resolve medication therapy problems. Most respondents believed that PC provision is professionally rewarding and that all pharmacists should provide PC (93% and 91% of respondents, respectively). Highly perceived barriers for PC provision included lack of access to patient information (76%), inadequate drug information sources (55%), and time constraints (53%). Professional year and practical experience duration were inversely significantly associated with four and five statements, respectively, out of the 13 Standard Pharmaceutical Care Attitudes Survey statements, including the statements related to the value of PC, and its benefit in improving patient health and pharmacy practitioners’ careers.
Conclusion
Qatar pharmacy students had positive attitudes toward PC. Efforts should be exerted to overcome their perceived barriers.
doi:10.2147/TCRM.S56982
PMCID: PMC3938321  PMID: 24591836
Qatar; pharmaceutical care; pharmacy; student
2.  An exploratory study on medications in Qatar homes 
Background
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.
Methods
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.
Results
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.
Conclusion
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.
doi:10.2147/DHPS.S25372
PMCID: PMC3264424  PMID: 22279414
medication; home; Qatar; storage; disposal
3.  Diabetes patient management by pharmacists during Ramadan 
Background
Many Muslim diabetes patients choose to participate in Ramadan despite medical advice to the contrary. This study aims to describe Qatar pharmacists’ practice, knowledge, and attitudes towards guiding diabetes medication management during Ramadan.
Methods
A cross-sectional descriptive study was performed among a convenience sample of 580 Qatar pharmacists. A web-based questionnaire was systematically developed following comprehensive literature review and structured according to 4 main domains: subject demographics; diabetes patient care experiences; knowledge of appropriate patient care during Ramadan fasting; and attitudes towards potential pharmacist responsibilities in this regard.
Results
In the 3 months prior to Ramadan (July 2012), 178 (31%) pharmacists responded to the survey. Ambulatory (103, 58%) and inpatient practices (72, 41%) were similarly represented. One-third of pharmacists reported at least weekly interaction with diabetes patients during Ramadan. The most popular resources for management advice were the internet (94, 53%) and practice guidelines (80, 45%); however only 20% were aware of and had read the American Diabetes Association Ramadan consensus document. Pharmacist knowledge scores of appropriate care was overall fair (99, 57%). Pharmacists identified several barriers to participating in diabetes management including workload and lack of private counseling areas, but expressed attitudes consistent with a desire to assume greater roles in advising fasting diabetes patients.
Conclusion
Qatar pharmacists face several practical barriers to guiding diabetes patient self-management during Ramadan, but are motivated to assume a greater role in such care. Educational programs are necessary to improve pharmacist knowledge in the provision of accurate patient advice.
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-14-117
PMCID: PMC3975299  PMID: 24606885
Diabetes; Patient care; Fasting; Ramadan; Pharmacist
4.  Patient perceptions of pharmacist roles in guiding self-medication of over-the-counter therapy in Qatar 
Background:
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.
Objective:
The purpose of this study was to characterize patient perceptions of pharmacists and use of nonprescription therapy in an ambulatory care population in Qatar.
Methods:
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.
Results:
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.
Conclusion:
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.
PMCID: PMC2875718  PMID: 20517469
patient; self-medication; over-the-counter; pharmacist; Qatar
5.  Pharmacists’ knowledge and attitudes about natural health products: a mixed-methods study 
Objectives
To explore knowledge and attitude of pharmacists in Qatar towards natural health products (NHPs).
Methods
The quantitative component of this study consisted of an anonymous, online, self-administered questionnaire to assess knowledge about NHPs among pharmacists in Qatar. Descriptive statistics and inferential analysis were conducted using Statistical Package of Social Sciences (SPSS®). Means and standard deviation were used to analyze descriptive data, and statistical significance was expressed as P-value, where P≤0.05 was considered statistically significant. Associations between variables were measured using Pearson correlation. The qualitative component utilized focus group (FG) meetings with a purposive sample of community pharmacists. Meetings were conducted until a point of saturation was reached. FG discussions were audio-taped and transcribed verbatim. Data were analyzed using a framework approach to sort the data according to emerging themes.
Results
The majority of participants had average to poor knowledge about NHPs while only around 7% had good knowledge. In the FG meetings, participants considered the media, medical representatives, and old systems of natural health as major source of their knowledge. They criticized undergraduate pharmacy courses (for inadequately preparing pharmacists to deal with NHPs) and the pharmacy regulations (for being irrelevant). A perception of NHPs as being “safe” still exists among pharmacists.
Conclusions
Pharmacists’ ability to provide effective services associated with NHPs is limited by poor access to evidence-based information and poor knowledge. A perception of NHPs and CAM as ‘safe’ still exists among pharmacists, and regulations related to NHPs require addressing to follow best practice and ensure patient safety.
doi:10.2147/DHPS.S57756
PMCID: PMC3912048  PMID: 24501547
Qatar; focus group; complimentary alternative medicine
6.  Physician perceptions of pharmacist roles in a primary care setting in Qatar 
Purpose
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.
Methods
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.
Results
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.
Conclusions
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.
doi:10.1186/1744-8603-8-12
PMCID: PMC3475112  PMID: 22650614
Physician; Perceptions; Pharmacists; Qatar
7.  Societal perspectives on community pharmacy services in West Bank - Palestine 
Pharmacy Practice  2012;10(1):17-24.
Background
Understanding the public's view of professional competency is extremely important; however little has been reported on the public's perception of community pharmacists in Palestine
Objective
To determine the perception of Palestinian consumers of the community pharmacist and the services they offer.
Methods
This project used the survey methodology administered by structured interviews to consumers who attended the 39 randomly selected pharmacies, in six main cities in Palestine. The questionnaire had range of structured questions covering: Consumers' patronage patterns, consumers’ interaction with community pharmacists, consumers’ views on how the pharmacist dealt with personal health issues, procedure with regard to handling private consultations.
Results
Of 1,017 consumers approached, 790 consumers completed the questionnaire (77.7 %). Proximity to home and presence of knowledgeable pharmacist were the main reasons for patients to visit the same pharmacy. Physicians were identified as the preferred source of advice by 57.2% and pharmacists by 23.8%. Only 17% of respondents considered pharmacists as health professionals who know a lot about drugs and are concerned about and committed to caring for the public. In addition, 49% indicated that pharmacists spoke more quietly cross the counter during counseling and almost one third reported that the pharmacist used a private area within the pharmacy. The majority of respondents would be happy to receive different extended services in the community pharmacy like blood pressure monitoring.
Conclusions
Palestinian consumers have a positive overall perception of community pharmacists and the services they offer. Awareness should be created amongst the public about the role of pharmacist and the added value they can provide as health care professional. There is a need to consider privacy when giving patient counseling to increase user satisfaction.
PMCID: PMC3798164  PMID: 24155812
Patient Satisfaction; Pharmacists; Professional Role; Middle East
8.  Pharmacy Students' Attitudes Toward a Required Public Health Course and Developing a Public Health Program 
Objective
To determine pharmacy students' attitudes towards a required public health course and developing a public health program.
Method
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.
Results
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.
Conclusion
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.
PMCID: PMC2779649  PMID: 19960091
public health; attitudes; pharmacy curriculum
9.  A qualitative study exploring public perceptions on the role of community pharmacists in Dubai 
Pharmacy Practice  2014;12(1):363.
Background
The role of community pharmacists is very important due to their access to primary care patients and expertise. For this reason, the interaction level between pharmacists and patients should be optimized to ensure enhanced delivery of pharmacy services.
Objective
To gauge perceptions and expectations of the public on the role of community pharmacists in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Methods
Twenty five individuals were invited to participate in 4 separate focus group discussions. Individuals came from different racial groups and socio-economic backgrounds. Interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed. Using thematic analysis, two reviewers coded all transcripts to identify emerging themes. Appropriate measures were taken to ensure study rigor and validity.
Results
All facilitators and barriers that were identified were grouped into 5 distinct themes. The pharmacist as a healthcare professional in the public mind was the most prominent theme that was discussed in all 4 focus groups. Other themes identified were, in decreasing order of prevalence, psychological perceptions towards pharmacists, important determinants of a pharmacist, the pharmacy as a unique healthcare provider, and control over pharmacies by health authorities.
Conclusions
This study provided insight into the way that the public looks at the role of community pharmacists in Dubai. Determinants that influence their perception are the media, health authorities, pharmacist’s knowledge level, attire, nationality, age, and pharmacy location.
PMCID: PMC3955864  PMID: 24644519
Community Pharmacy Services; Pharmacies; Professional Practice; Consumer Satisfaction; Focus Groups; United Arab Emirates
10.  An expanded prescribing role for pharmacists - an Australian perspective 
The Australasian Medical Journal  2011;4(4):236-242.
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.
doi:10.4066/AMJ.2011.694
PMCID: PMC3562903  PMID: 23393515
Pharmacist prescribing; Australia; pharmacy clients; Australian pharmacy; non-medical prescribing
11.  Pharmacy practice and its challenges in Yemen 
Background
Pharmacy practice in Yemen was established in 1875 in Aden.
Objectives
To describe pharmacy practice as it currently exists in Yemen, the challenges the profession faces, and to recommend changes that will improve pharmaceutical care services.
Methods
This study has two parts. Part 1 comprised a literature search performed between May and July 2011 to identify published studies on pharmacy practice in Yemen. Full text papers, abstracts, and reports in Arabic or English between 1970 and 2011 were reviewed. Part 2 consisted of a qualitative study with face-to-face interviews with a representative sample of pharmacists, staff from the Ministry of Public Health and Population (MoPHP), and patients.
Results
The analysis revealed several issues that plague pharmacy practice in Yemen:
Fewer than 10 per cent of pharmacists working in pharmacies and drug stores are graduates of governmentrecognised colleges.
Most Yemeni pharmacists are dissatisfied with their work conditions and opportunities.
Medicines are expensive and hard to access in Yemen, and counterfeit medicines are a serious problem.
Few regulations and standards exist for pharmacists and pharmaceutical care.
Pharmaceutical marketing plays an important role in marketing and selling products in Yemen.
A dearth of standards, regulations, and laws are hurting pharmacy practice in the country and potentially endangering peoples’ lives.
Conclusion
In order to improve pharmacy practice in Yemen, many changes are needed, including updating the pharmacy curriculum taught, implementing industry standards for pharmacy practice, implementing and reinforcing laws, and integrating pharmacists more fully in the healthcare industry. Additionally, the quality of the pharmacy workforce needs to be improved, and there needs to be increased awareness by the public, physicians, other healthcare professionals, and policy makers about the value of pharmacists.
doi:10.4066/AMJ.2014.1890
PMCID: PMC3920470  PMID: 24567762
Pharmacy practice; workforce; satisfaction; challenges; recommendations and Yemen
12.  Stigmatizing attitudes and low levels of knowledge but high willingness to participate in HIV management: A community-based survey of pharmacies in Pune, India 
BMC Public Health  2010;10:517.
Background
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.
Methods
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.
Results
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.
Conclusion
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.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-10-517
PMCID: PMC2939646  PMID: 20799948
13.  Perceptions of Pharmacy Technicians and Students Regarding Technicians as Pharmacy Instructors 
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.
doi:10.5688/ajpe758151
PMCID: PMC3220332  PMID: 22102741
introductory pharmacy practice experiences; pharmacy technicians; survey
14.  An Elective Course to Engage Student Pharmacists in Elementary School Science Education 
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.
doi:10.5688/ajpe7510203
PMCID: PMC3279034  PMID: 22345722
service-learning; communication skills; health promotion; STEM education
15.  Prostate cancer education in the Washington, DC, area. 
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.
PMCID: PMC2594186  PMID: 12442999
16.  The contribution of Ghanaian pharmacists to mental healthcare: current practice and barriers 
Background
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.
Method
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.
Results
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.
Conclusion
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.
doi:10.1186/1752-4458-4-14
PMCID: PMC2893087  PMID: 20550668
17.  Electronic transfer of prescription-related information: comparing views of patients, general practitioners, and pharmacists. 
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.
PMCID: PMC1314545  PMID: 14694696
18.  Professional relationships between general practitioners and pharmacists in health centres. 
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.
PMCID: PMC1371417  PMID: 2271280
19.  Public health in community pharmacy: A systematic review of pharmacist and consumer views 
BMC Public Health  2011;11:582.
Background
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.
Methods
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.
Results
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
Conclusions
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.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-11-582
PMCID: PMC3146877  PMID: 21777456
20.  Do community pharmacists have the attitudes and knowledge to support evidence based self-management of low back pain? 
Background
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.
Methods
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.
Results
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.
Conclusion
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.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-8-10
PMCID: PMC1796877  PMID: 17266748
21.  Using daily newspapers to develop professional literacy – a descriptive study 
Background
An orientation to the professional landscape is necessary for novices of any health discipline. We describe an assignment aimed to develop the professional literacy of pharmacy students within their local Middle Eastern context.
Methods
“Pharmacy and Health Care” is a course designed to introduce first-year students to both historic and contemporary pharmacist roles and responsibilities and to the position of pharmacy within a health care system. An assignment asked students to identify a health-related article recently reported by one of the domestic newspapers in order to exhibit the students’ ability to conceptualize how pharmacists fit into the described health context.
Results
The exercise was assigned over three consecutive academic years. A majority of the students (36/60; 60%) chose articles reported in one of the three English-language dailies; stories were primarily characterized as Qatar health-related current events or news items (44/60; 73%). The pharmacy students felt the assignment encouraged reading and an appreciation of current pharmacist roles and future opportunities in Qatar health care.
Conclusion
A newspaper assignment designed to develop professional literacy would be of benefit in early training years in health care professional degree programs elsewhere in the world; the result would orient students to expected positions in local health care settings and would help envision role expansion.
doi:10.2147/AMEP.S43832
PMCID: PMC3726648  PMID: 23901307
pharmacy; health professional education; newspaper
22.  The inclusion of a business management module within the master of pharmacy degree: a route to asset enrichment? 
Pharmacy Practice  2013;11(2):109-117.
Background
Over the past decade the profession of pharmacy has steadily evolved. The New Pharmacy Contract exposed pharmacists to a fundamental change in traditional pharmacy business models.
Objective
This study will consider whether community pharmacists, pharmacy undergraduates and academic staff within the United Kingdom believe it would be beneficial to incorporate a business management module within the Master of Pharmacy (MPharm) undergraduate degree along with potential mechanisms of delivery.
Methods
Further to ethical approval, the questionnaire was distributed to UK registered pharmacists (n=600), MPharm undergraduates (n=441) and academic staff at Liverpool John Moores University (n=44). The questions were formatted as multiple choice questions, Likert scales or the open answer type. On questionnaire completion and return, data were analysed using simple frequencies, cross tabulations and non-parametric techniques in the SPSS (v18).
Results
The majority of pharmacists (84.9%) confirmed that business skills affect their everyday responsibilities to a considerable extent. A high proportion of undergraduate students (92.8%) believed that business management skills will impact on their future role. In total, 64.3% of this cohort declared that if a module were introduced they would study it. The majority of staff (79%) agreed that business skills are gaining increased importance within the field of pharmacy.
Conclusions
Data suggest that business skills are of relevance to the practice of pharmacy. Appropriate staff to deliver the taught material would include business owners / lecturers and teaching practitioners covering topics including management, leadership, interpersonal skills and regulation. We suggest the inclusion of a business module with the MPharm degree would be of great value in preparing individuals for practice within a modern day healthcare setting.
PMCID: PMC3798171  PMID: 24155858
Education, Pharmacy; Students, Pharmacy; Professional Competence; Pharmacy Administration; United Kingdom
23.  Patients’ perception, views and satisfaction with pharmacists’ role as health care provider in community pharmacy setting at Riyadh, Saudi Arabia 
Objectives
This study will provide guiding information about the population perception, views and satisfaction with pharmacist’s performance as health care provider in the community pharmacy setting in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Method
The study was conducted in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, from July through December 2010. A total of 125 community pharmacies in Riyadh city were randomly selected according to their geographical distribution (north, south, east, and west). They represent about 10–15% of all community pharmacies in the city. The questionnaire composed of 8 items about patients’ views and satisfaction with the pharmacists’ role in the current community pharmacy practice. The questionnaire was coded, checked for accuracy and analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 17.0 for Windows (SPSS Inc., Chicago, Illinois).
Results
The response rate was almost 85% where 2000 patients were approached and 1699 of them responded to our questionnaire. The majority of respondents is young adults and adults (82.8%), male (67.5%) and married (66.9%). Seventy one percent of respondents assured that community pharmacist is available in the working while only 37.3% of respondents perceived the pharmacist as a mere vendor. About 38% assured sou moto counseling by the pharmacist, 35% reported pharmacist plays an active role in their compliances to treatments, 43% acknowledged the role of pharmacist in solving medication related problems, 34% considered the pharmacist as a health awareness provider and 44.6% felt that pharmacist is indispensable and an effective part of the health care system.
Conclusion
The image and professional performance of community pharmacist are improving in Saudi Arabia. The Saudi patients show better satisfaction, perception and appreciation of the pharmacists’ role in the health care team. However, extra efforts should be paid to improve the clinical skills of the community pharmacists. Community pharmacists need to be able to reach out to patient, assess their hesitations and promptly offer solution which was appreciated by the patients as the survey indicates. They should play a pro-active role in becoming an effective and indispensable part of health care. Furthermore, they should be able to advice, guide, direct and persuade the patient to comply correct usage of drugs. Finally, community pharmacists should equip themselves with appropriate knowledge and competencies in order to tender efficient and outstanding pharmaceutical health care.
doi:10.1016/j.jsps.2012.05.007
PMCID: PMC3745196  PMID: 23960807
Community; Pharmacist; Satisfaction; Care; Drug; Perception
24.  Pharmacist attire and its impact on patient preference 
Pharmacy Practice  2011;9(2):66-71.
Objective
To determine the influence of demographics on patient preferences for community pharmacist attire.
Methods
A 10-item questionnaire was developed and administered to patients visiting a chain pharmacy or an independent pharmacy in the Birmingham, Alabama metropolitan area. Mann–Whitney was used to examine if statistical differences existed in chain versus independent pharmacy patient’s selections based on pharmacist attire.
Results
A statistically significant difference in patient preference for pharmacist attire between the settings in regards to which pharmacist patients felt was more approachable was observed; 51.2% of chain pharmacy respondents compared to 30% of independent pharmacy respondents identified the pharmacist pair with business formal attire and white coat as more approachable. Differences in education was also apparent with 70% of respondents in the independent pharmacy setting reporting having a Bachelor’s degree or higher compared to 45% of respondents in the chain pharmacy setting.
Conclusions
With the exception of approachability, patients indicated preference for pharmacist with the white coat regardless of community setting. Given the importance of patient-pharmacist communication for building successful patient-pharmacist relationships, if patients do not perceive the pharmacists as approachable, communication and subsequent development of said relationships may not occur regardless of perceived knowledge and competency.
PMCID: PMC3969828
Clothing; Professional-Patient Relations; Pharmacists; United States
25.  The contribution of the Medicines Use Review (MUR) consultation to counseling practice in community pharmacies☆ 
Patient Education and Counseling  2011;83(3):336-344.
Objective
To understand the contribution of the Medicines Use Review consultation to counseling practice in community pharmacies.
Methods
Qualitative study involving ten weeks of observations in two community pharmacies and interviews with patients and pharmacy staff.
Results
‘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.
Conclusion
Pharmacists failed to fully realise the opportunity offered by MURs being constrained by situational pressures.
Practice implications
Pharmacist consultation skills need to be reviewed if MURs are to realise their intended aims.
doi:10.1016/j.pec.2011.05.007
PMCID: PMC3145978  PMID: 21621943
Counseling; Medicines Use Reviews; Patient centred; Patient–pharmacist communication; Pharmacy practice

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