Category: Professional Posters
Purpose: Antimicrobial resistance is one of the most urgent concerns worldwide, including Lebanon, due to frequent use and misuse of antibiotics. The untoward outcome of this issue is the emergence of resistant strains of bacteria, which presents a significant threat to public health. The present study was designed to determine knowledge, attitude and practice of community pharmacists in Lebanon towards antibiotics use before incorporating them in antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) program.
Methods: This cross-sectional study was approved by the institutional review board; and involved community pharmacists practicing in Beirut and Mount-Lebanon. Pharmacists having Bachelor of Pharmacy (BPharm) and Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) were considered eligible to participate in the study and completed a previously validated questionnaire. The primary endpoint was to evaluate the community pharmacists’ knowledge about antibiotics. The secondary endpoints were to assess the community pharmacists’ perception and practices regarding AMS program; as well as, to assess the collaboration undertaken by pharmacists with other health care professionals over the use of antibiotics. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and bivariate analysis (Independent Sample T-test and One-Way Anova test).
Results: A total of 360 community pharmacists were included in the study over a 5-month period. The response rate was 100% as all participants completed the questionnaire. We have defined statistically a maximum score of 40 and 50 for knowledge and practice respectively. Most of the participants have a Bachelor of Pharmacy (77.2 percent) with about 1 to 4 years of practice (38.3 percent). The majority of pharmacists had good knowledge and appropriate practice with a mean score of 35.48 ± 4.33 and 42.23 ± 6.14 respectively. On the other hand, half of the participants were uncertain regarding the AMS program importance at the level of the community pharmacy setting (48.9 percent), and its impact on improving patient care (49.2 percent), and decreasing resistance (48.9 percent).
Conclusion: Community pharmacists in Lebanon expressed good overall knowledge about antibiotics, yet major gaps still exist regarding AMS program. Therefore, more continuing education is needed to improve perception and provide better infection control while considering the burden of resistance. This study could be implemented to further detect any inappropriate perception or practice towards antimicrobials utilization, and urge the enrollment of community pharmacists in the AMS program.