Evidence of community pharmacists’ response preparedness during COVID-19 public health crisis: A cross-sectional study
Introduction: Community pharmacists are often the first point of contact for the public, especially during pandemics. As outlined by the International Pharmaceutical Federation, community pharmacists have an important public health role during this Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) public health emergency. We therefore investigated the current practices, response preparedness and professional development needs of community pharmacists in Qatar.
Methodology: A descriptive cross-sectional online 38-item questionnaire-based survey constructed on evidence-based public health roles of pharmacists was conducted between 28 May and 18 June 2020. Questions related to current practices required responses on a 5-point Likert-type scale ranging from “always” to “never”. The questionnaire was evaluated for validity and the reliability analysis showed a Cronbach’s alpha coefficient of 0.921.
Results: The response (n = 311) rate for the survey was 34.2%. More than 75% of pharmacists “always” encouraged and practiced hygiene and social distancing measures. On the other hand, the proportion of pharmacists “always” involved in patient assessment, education or providing information related to COVID-19 and application of evidence-based protocol ranged from 32 to 73%. The vast majority (87-96%) of pharmacists indicated that they needed professional development related to COVID-19. Overall, 77% of pharmacists either “strongly agreed” or “agreed” that they have all the necessary COVID-19 related emergency response preparedness and training. Country from which pharmacists obtained their first degree, and the type of pharmacy where they practice influenced their overall perception toward emergency response preparedness.
Conclusions: Community pharmacists in Qatar are willing to receive additional training related to COVID-19 public health crisis despite being prepared to engage with patients.
Copyright (c) 2021 Hager ElGeed, Yaw Owusu, Sara Abdulrhim, Ahmed Awaisu, Vyas Kattezhathu, Palli Abdulrouf, Sowndramalingam Sankaralingam
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