OBJECTIVE: To explore perception of community pharmacists in Dubai regarding the obstacles to enhanced pharmacy services using a part of the results from a nation-wide quantitative survey.
METHODS: A questionnaire was distributed to 281 full-time licensed community pharmacists in Dubai. The questionnaire had 5 inter-linked sections: demographic information, information about the pharmacy, interaction with physicians, pharmacists' current professional role, and barriers to enhanced pharmacy services.
RESULTS: About half of the respondents (45.4%, n=90) agreed that pharmacy clients under-estimate them and 52.5% (n=104) felt the same by physicians. About 47.5% (n=94) of the respondents felt that they are legally unprotected against profession's malpractice. Moreover, 64.7% (n=128) stated that pharmacy practice in Dubai turned to be business-focused. In addition, 76.8% (n=252) found that one of the major barriers to enhanced pharmacy services is the high business running cost. Pharmacists screened tried to prove that they are not one of the barriers to optimized pharmacy services as 62.7% (n=124) disagreed that they lack appropriate knowledge needed to serve community and 67.7% (n=134) gave the same response when asked whether pharmacy staff lack confidence when treating consumers or not.
CONCLUSIONS: Although being well established within the community, pharmacists in Dubai negatively perceived their own professional role. They stated that there are number of barriers which hinder optimized delivery of pharmacy services like under-estimation by pharmacy clients and other healthcare professionals, pressure to make sales, and high running cost.
METHODS: A qualitative approach using focus group discussions was conducted to get in-depth information about medicines use pattern and practice from the general public. Adult people who reported using medicines at the time of study or in the previous month were approached. Two focus group discussions were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim. The obtained data were analysed using thematic content analysis.
RESULTS: This study found that there are some misunderstanding about the appropriate use of medicines. The majority of the participants reported that they were complying with their medication regimen. However, forgetting to take medicines was stated by 4 participants while 2 participants stopped taking medicines when they felt better. In addition, 10 participants reporting using medicines according to their own knowledge and past experience. Whereas 4 participants took medicines according to other informal resources such as family, friends or the media. Seven participants have experienced side effects with using medicines, 4 of them informed their doctor while 3 participants stopped taking medicines without informing their doctor.
CONCLUSION: There was a misunderstanding about medicines use in terms of medication compliance, self-management of the illness and the resources of information about using medicines. Many efforts are still needed from health care professionals to provide sufficient information about medicines use in order to decrease the risk of inappropriate use of medicines and to achieve better therapeutic outcome.
Methods: The study was designed as a cross-sectional questionnaire-based survey whereby all (300) community pharmacists practicing in Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia were targeted for data collection. A 35-itemed questionnaire was posted out along with a stamped addressed envelope, invitation letter and support letter. Responses were also accepted via online response. Both descriptive and inferential statistics were used for data analysis. All statistical analysis was performed using SPSS v. 20.0.
Results: A total of 67 responses were received with a response rate of 22.3%. The top three frequently health information searched by respondents were medicine information, general healthcare information and disease-related information. High number of respondents agreed that Internet had too much health information to scan through. Gender (p=0.018) showed significant association with visiting established health websites. Meanwhile, statistical significant was observed between age and searching medicine information (p=0.037), undertaking online continuing professional development (p=0.023), as well as searching clinical guidelines (p=0.047). Respondents' education level showed significant association with uncertainty about the reliability of online health information (p=0.023) and unsure about filtering the information (p=0.007).
Conclusions: Majority of the respondents expressed positive perception with the use of Internet for health information. The findings of the current study showed the widely use of Internet for health information among community pharmacists. Hence, this study provides opportunity for future works to further examine community pharmacist's retrieval and appraisal skills for online health information, as well as application of this information into their daily pharmacy practice.
METHODS: A cross sectional survey was conducted with consumers who attended the annual University open day. Using convenience sampling, survey forms were distributed to the respective consumers via the help of a group of trained 1st year pharmacy students. For a period of 5 days, 400 respondents had participated in the survey. Analysis of the response from the collected forms yielded in 396 usable forms.
RESULTS: Only 28.3% (n=112) of the respondents were familiar with the term "generic medicines". More than 70% of the respondents do not know that generic medicines can be marketed under different names. About 34% (n=38) of consumers stated that they had been given information regarding generics by their pharmacists. In terms of side effects, about 32% (n=127) of the respondents felt that generic medicines may cause more side effects than branded medicines. Majority of the consumers surveyed (64%) understand that generic cost less compared to their branded counterparts.
CONCLUSION: This survey showed that there is a gap in consumers' knowledge and understanding about generic medicines. The findings also suggest that direct patient education by the healthcare providers on issues relating to safety and efficacy of generic medicines could further enhance their uptake.
Methods: Focus groups discussion was employed in this qualitative study. A total of 17 hypertensive patients were purposively recruited. Three focus group discussions with semi-structured interview were carried out at Flat Desa Wawasan, Penang. All the conversations were audio recorded, transcribed verbatim and thematically analysed.
Results: Three major themes were developed, including medication adherence among hypertensive patients, self-management of hypertension and patients' knowledge towards hypertension. Poor medication adherence was found and different strategies were taken to overcome the barriers towards adherence. Use of herbal and traditional therapies was perceived as alternative method in controlling blood pressure instead of taking antihypertensive medication. The participants were found to have poor knowledge on side effect and mechanism of action of hypertensive medication.
Conclusions: The misconception about the side effect of antihypertensive medication has led to poor adherence among the participants. Lack of knowledge on targeted blood pressure level has led to poor blood pressure monitoring among the participants. Health awareness program and counselling from health care professional should be advocated among the hypertensive patients in addressing the above gaps.