RESEARCH PAPER
Pharmacist-led smoking cessation services in Ethiopia: Knowledge and skills gap analysis
 
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1
Department of Clinical Pharmacy, School of Pharmacy, University of Gondar, Gondar, Ethiopia
2
Department of Clinical and Administrative Pharmacy Sciences, College of Pharmacy, Howard University, Washington, United States
Publish date: 2019-01-09
 
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2019;17(January):1
KEYWORDS:
TOPICS:
ABSTRACT:
Introduction:
The present study’s objectives were: 1) assess the knowledge and attitude of pharmacists and pharmacy students regarding smoking/smoking cessation, and 2) document the extent of community pharmacists’ involvement in the provision of smoking cessation services in Ethiopia.

Methods:
This study used cross-sectional and direct observation methods. A series of questionnaires were administered to final-year pharmacy students and practising pharmacists. Two scenarios simulating tobacco use in pregnancy and cardiovascular patients were selected and played by two well-trained simulated patients (SPs). Findings were analysed and presented using mean total scores, analysis of variances and independent sample t-test.

Results:
A total of 410 participants (213 out of 238 pharmacy students, response rate 89.5%; 197 out of 361 pharmacists, response rate 54.6%) completed the survey. Both pharmacy students and practising pharmacists had positive attitudes towards smoking cessation, and both groups had similar mean knowledge scores. A total of 80 simulated visits were conducted. Recipients of training on smoking cessation had significantly higher mean knowledge and attitude scores compared with those who did not receive such training. The majority of the pharmacists demonstrated poor in history-taking practice, and seldom assessed the patients’ nicotine dependence level. Nicotine replacement therapies (NRTs) were supplied in only 10 of the visits and suggested, but not dispensed, in 35 of the visits. On the other hand, pharmacists in 59 visits counselled patients to visit addiction specialists and physicians.

Conclusions:
The present study revealed the presence of significant clinical knowledge gaps and inadequate skills among pharmacists regarding smoking cessation services. Educating pharmacists about smoking cessation support as part of their continuous professional development and providing a hands-on customised educational intervention, such as practice guidelines in the form of an Ask-Advise-Refer approach, about smoking cessation will be useful.

CORRESPONDING AUTHOR:
Daniel Asfaw Erku   
Department of Clinical Pharmacy, School of Pharmacy, University of Gondar, Lideta kebele 16, 196 Gondar, Ethiopia
 
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