Nature and extent of counseling practice in community pharmacies in Sulaimani city, Iraq: A cross-sectional study
Background and objective: Community pharmacists play an important role in the best use of drugs and in improving patient outcomes. Evidence demonstrates that pharmacists' counseling improves the quality of life, clinical outcomes, and drug and disease knowledge and reduces the utilization of health services. This study aimed to investigate the nature and extent of counseling practices of community pharmacists in community pharmacies in Sulaimani region of Kurdistan, Iraq.
Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted in community pharmacies in Sulaimani city, in a one-month duration from November to December 2020. The sample size was 100 community pharmacies, which were selected randomly. The data were stored and analyzed using Excel 2016 and expressed as frequencies and percentages.
Results: According to the completed questionnaires, about 78.8% of pharmacists would do counseling spontaneously each time they dispense any drug. Only 61% of the pharmacists would ask the patients if they understood what was said during their communication to assess the understanding of advice given to their patients. The most common barrier observed during patient counseling was the patient's lack of time.
Conclusion: This study indicates that community pharmacists counsel the patients in an appropriate way. They provide information orally and in written form. However, further research is needed to evaluate the quality of patient counseling by using different methods like pseudo-patient methodology to gain real counseling data.
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