PUBLICS' PERCEPTIONS OF COMMUNITY PHARMACISTS AND SATISFACTION WITH PHARMACY SERVICES
Amal A. El-Kholy* and Mohamed M. M. Abdel-Latif
Background: The pharmacist plays a major role in serving patients and delivering pharmaceutical services to the community. The recognition of pharmacy services by the public is important to the success of pharmacy profession. It is unclear whether the public fully appreciates what the pharmacists can do and their acceptance of the pharmacist as a key healthcare provider. Objectives: The aim of the present study was to examine the public's perceptions of the community pharmacist and satisfaction with pharmacy services in Saudi Arabia. Methods: A cross-sectional studywas conducted on a randomly selected sample of the public(n=1000) inSaudi Arabia. A 40-item structured self-administered questionnaire comprised of questions on demographics characteristics of the respondents, rolesand competency of thecommunity pharmacist, pharmacy facility and satisfaction with pharmacy services. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the data. Results: The response rate of the survey was 76.92%. Public' opinions were influenced by the pharmacist's availability and knowledge, pharmacy location, service promptness, and counseling services. Overall, 80.5% of respondents agreed that community pharmacists treat them with respect. The pharmacist was the first professional approached for medicines information; however, fewer respondents considered the pharmacist as a healthcare provider. Doctors were identified as their preferred source of drug therapy consultation by 58.7% and pharmacists by 41.29%. About 72.8% of respondents agreed that pharmacists provided them clear instructions about medication use and 70.2% trusted pharmacists' opinion about medications. The percent of the satisfaction with the pharmacist was 62.5% and pharmacy services were 64.8%. Conclusion: The public were satisfied to certain extent with community pharmacists' professionalism and pharmaceutical services. The study amplifies the need for a more projection of the pharmacist's role in the community to be accepted by the public as a healthcare provider.
Keywords: Public, Community pharmacist, Pharmacy services, Satisfaction, Saudi Arabia.
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