Knowledge and practice characteristics of pharmacists in Qatar towards medication use in pregnancy: a cross-sectional survey.
El Kassem, Wessam
Al Saad, Doua
Gasim, Mohammed M.
Al Hail, Moza
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ROUF, P.A., THOMAS, B., ELKASSEM, W., TARANNUM, A., AL SAAD, D., GASIM, M.M. and AL HAIL, M. 2018. Knowledge and practice characteristics of pharmacists in Qatar towards medication use in pregnancy: a cross-sectional survey. Eastern Mediterranean health journal [online], 24(2), pages 137-145. Available from: https://doi.org/10.26719/2018.24.2.137
Background: Medication use during pregnancy is common. Pharmacists have an important role in improving medication use during pregnancy. There is a lack of empirical evidence on pharmacists’ knowledge and practice characteristics towards medication use in pregnancy. Objectives: This study aimed to determine the knowledge and practice characteristics of pharmacists in Qatar about medicines use in pregnancy. Methods: A cross-sectional, questionnaire-based study was conducted over a period of 6 months in 2010. Questionnaires were distributed to 400 of 800 licensed pharmacists employed in Qatar (in government and private sectors). Data was collected on: demographics and practice characteristics of the pharmacists; their knowledge and perception about medication use in pregnancy; their confidence in dealing with pregnant women and physicians; and their source of the drug information. Results: Of the 400 questionnaires distributed, 207 were returned (52% response rate). Most pharmacists (71%) had not participated in any educational activities on medication use in pregnancy. About 50% reported that < 10% of their workload involved dispensing medications to pregnant women. A lack of available resources and unknown pregnancy status were the main concerns about dispensing medication to pregnant women. The majority of the respondents had average knowledge about medication use in pregnancy. There was a significant association between knowledge, and continuing education and years of experience (P < 0.05). Conclusions: Pharmacists in Qatar had an average level of knowledge about medications use in pregnancy. Continuous educational programmes are needed for pharmacists in Qatar to enhance their knowledge and practice of medicine use during pregnancy.