Nevin Manimala Statistics

Public views of community pharmacy services during the COVID-19 pandemic: a national survey

J Pharm Policy Pract. 2022 Oct 29;15(1):76. doi: 10.1186/s40545-022-00474-4.


OBJECTIVE: To assess public opinion about community pharmacy services in Lebanon during the COVID-19 pandemic.

METHOD: A cross-sectional study using an online questionnaire was conducted between April and August of 2021. A link was shared randomly among the Lebanese population using WhatsApp and Facebook. Public perceptions were explored within 3 different indicators: general services (B) dispensing (C), and storage (D). Chi-square, Student’s test and ANOVA tests were used. p < 0.05 was considered statistically significant.

RESULTS: Out of 491 responses, only 9.6% scored above the 75th percentile (19.3% for the general services, 2.4% for dispensing indicator and 12.6% for storage indicator). The main concerns focused on lack of medication and reduced opening hours; however, 67.1% of respondents preferred consulting the community pharmacist instead of visiting primary health care centers, doctor’s private clinic and hospitals. Higher mean values of indicators B, C and in the overall indicator were significantly found in the presence of a pharmacist compared to the support pharmacy workforce.

CONCLUSION: The overall public perception was inadequate. Significant difference in terms of quality of services was detected in the presence and absence of a community pharmacist during the crisis. It is recommended that the Order of Pharmacist of Lebanon (OPL) and the Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) undergo further steps mainly to enforce the laws concerning dispensing and storage indicators, improve the services in terms of extending the opening hours, ensure the availability of medicines and increase public awareness.

PMID:36309706 | DOI:10.1186/s40545-022-00474-4

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