Current views of community and hospital pharmacists on pharmaceutical care services in the United Arab Emirates: A mixed methodological study
Background: The profession of pharmacy has evolved significantly in recent years in terms of professional service delivery. The aim of this study was to explore the current views of pharmacists in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on pharmaceutical care services and the nature of barriers encountered in practice using qualitative and quantitative assessment methods. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among hospital and community pharmacists (n = 305) between March and May 2021, using qualitative and quantitative assessment methods. In the qualitative phase, 15 interviews were conducted to explore five main criteria: patient information, inadequate patient counseling, prescribing errors prevention and identifying drug-related problems, lack of participation in health awareness programs, and barriers to pharmaceutical care implementation. In the quantitative phase, 305 consenting pharmacists completed a questionnaire on seven criteria: demographic profile, pharmacist-physician interaction, patient counseling assessment, patient reports of adverse drug events, pharmacist participation in health awareness programs, perceptions of reducing prescribing errors and identifying drug-related problems, and barriers to appropriate pharmaceutical care implementation. Results: The results of both the qualitative and quantitative phases of the study revealed that pharmacists' influence on practice in the UAE is limited due to many factors, mainly lack of time and patients' ignorance of the pharmacist's role in the medical field. The mean responses regarding pharmacists' approach to patient counseling and patients' knowledge of pharmacists' role in managing adverse drug reactions were 77.1% and 59.7%, respectively. Active participation in health awareness programs was 64.8%. The mean positive response of participants in reducing prescribing errors and recognizing drug-related problems was 9.2%. Pharmacists' age and number of years in practice were the most important factors influencing the pharmaceutical care services implementation. Conclusion: The study has shown the need to shed light on the proper implementation of pharmaceutical care while maintaining a trusting relationship with physicians.
Mahboub, Bassam S.
Buabeid, Manal Ali