Community pharmacists’ understanding, attitudes, practice and perceived barriers related to providing pharmaceutical care: a questionnaire-based survey in Macao
Purpose: To explore the knowledge, attitudes, practice and perceived barriers of community pharmacists regarding provision of pharmaceutical care as well as provide recommendations on how to advance the service during the early stage of development in Macao.
Methods: A questionnaire comprising 10 items was used to collect respondents’ demographic information and to evaluate their understanding of pharmaceutical care, attitude towards service provision, current practice and perceived barriers. Descriptive and comparative analysis of the results was conducted.
Results: While 95 % of the participating pharmacists agreed that patients’ health was their primary responsibility, only 57 % believed that they can provide better pharmaceutical care in the future. The majority spent most of their work time counselling patients (90 %) and checking prescription (70 %). Only a small portion monitored adverse drug reaction and drug compliance (44 %), engaged in health screening or drug safety promotion (20 %) or maintained patient medication records (4 %). Insufficient communication with physicians (90 %), lack of time (79 %) and lack of physical space at the pharmacy (76 %) were considered the most significant barriers.
Conclusion: A suboptimal level of pharmaceutical care is provided by pharmacists in Macao. Considering the barriers identified and integrating other country experiences, establishing an enabling atmosphere using policy and regulatory measures is the fundamental element for advancing pharmaceutical care by community pharmacists.
Keywords: Community pharmacist, Community Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical care, Macao
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