Sierra Leonean doctors' perceptions and expectations of the role of pharmacists in hospitals: a national cross-sectional survey.

Springer Science and Business Media LLC
Publication Type:
Journal Article
International journal of clinical pharmacy, 2020, 42, (5), pp. 1335-1343
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Background The effective implementation of pharmaceutical care requires pharmacists' collaboration with other healthcare providers, especially doctors. However, doctor's perceptions and expectations may not be in line with the tasks and responsibilities of pharmacists. Objectives We aim to explore doctors' expectations and perceptions of pharmacists while working together in a multi-disciplinary team in Sierra Leone. Setting Twelve public hospitals in Sierra Leone. Method A national cross-sectional survey was conducted between July and September 2018. Anonymous self-administered questionnaires were distributed to all doctors at randomly selected public hospitals. Data were analyzed in Excel and SPSS using descriptive and inferential statistics, and a p > 0.05 was taken as statistically significant. Main outcome measure Doctors' perceptions and expectations towards pharmacists role in patient care. Results A total of 119 out of 150 questionnaires were returned. Doctors hold a mixed perception of pharmacists. The majority of medical doctors believed that pharmacists are vital (n = 98; 82.4%) as they provide services that foster better patients outcomes (n = 78; 65.6%). However, about half (n = 58; 48.8%) expressed uncertainty or perceived pharmacists as incompetent in providing clinical pharmacy services. Our findings also showed a large proportion of doctors expect pharmacists to review medication order (n = 110; 92.4%) for appropriateness and monitoring patients' response to therapy and possible adverse drug effects (n = 112; 92.2%). M ore than three quarters (n = 104, 87.4%) were in favour of collaborating with pharmacists in the process of developing patients' treatment plans. Doctors (n = 116; 97.5%) were of the view that doctor-pharmacist collaborations can be improved by developing trust relationships through dialogue. No demographic characteristics were independently associated with doubt in pharmacist clinical competence. Conclusion Reservations regarding pharmacists' clinical competency still prevail amongst medical doctors. Conversely, they view pharmacists as crucial players in the healthcare delivery system in Sierra Leone. Doctors also have high expectations of pharmacists in terms of contributing to better patient outcomes and therefore wish to collaborate. Possible interventions to settle doctors' discontent regarding pharmacists may include fostering interprofessional training, practice, and constructive dialogue.
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