Provision of travel medicine advice through community pharmacies

assessment of knowledge, attitudes and practices of pharmacists in Malaysia

Nur Akmar Taha, Yee Lian See

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objectives: The risk for travel-related illnesses has increased with significant growth in international travel, but very few travellers seek travel advice. Community pharmacists can play a vital role in the provision of travel medicine advice due to their accessibility. This study aimed to assess travel medicine knowledge, attitudes and practices (KAP) among community pharmacists in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Methods: A self-administered KAP questionnaire was distributed to a convenience sample of pharmacists in Kuala Lumpur identified from the list of licensed community pharmacists in Malaysia year 2014. Key findings: Questionnaires were returned by 111 pharmacists of 143 distributed (response rate, 78%). Most of the respondents (82%) were not trained in travel medicine. Overall, mean knowledge score was 4.4 (± 1.7), indicating a moderate level of knowledge on a variety of travel-related health issues. Community pharmacists who graduated from foreign universities possessed significantly higher knowledge scores than did those who graduated locally (P < 0.05). The majority had a positive attitude towards travel medicine. A vast majority provided travel medicine advice mainly to adults who travel as tourists, and the primary travel advice given was on traveller's diarrhoea. Conclusion: There are gaps in the knowledge and practice of travel medicine among Malaysian pharmacists. Positive attitudes of pharmacists towards travel medicine and appropriate interventions, such as incorporation of travel medicine in local pharmacy curricula, continuous pharmacy education or certified training may improve the quality of travel advice given and allow pharmacists to be recognised as a credible source of information on travel medicine.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)326-332
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Pharmacy Practice
Volume24
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2016

Fingerprint

Travel Medicine
Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
Pharmacies
Malaysia
Pharmacists
Medicine
Pharmacy Education
Curriculum
Curricula
Diarrhea
Education
Health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacy
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

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title = "Provision of travel medicine advice through community pharmacies: assessment of knowledge, attitudes and practices of pharmacists in Malaysia",
abstract = "Objectives: The risk for travel-related illnesses has increased with significant growth in international travel, but very few travellers seek travel advice. Community pharmacists can play a vital role in the provision of travel medicine advice due to their accessibility. This study aimed to assess travel medicine knowledge, attitudes and practices (KAP) among community pharmacists in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Methods: A self-administered KAP questionnaire was distributed to a convenience sample of pharmacists in Kuala Lumpur identified from the list of licensed community pharmacists in Malaysia year 2014. Key findings: Questionnaires were returned by 111 pharmacists of 143 distributed (response rate, 78{\%}). Most of the respondents (82{\%}) were not trained in travel medicine. Overall, mean knowledge score was 4.4 (± 1.7), indicating a moderate level of knowledge on a variety of travel-related health issues. Community pharmacists who graduated from foreign universities possessed significantly higher knowledge scores than did those who graduated locally (P < 0.05). The majority had a positive attitude towards travel medicine. A vast majority provided travel medicine advice mainly to adults who travel as tourists, and the primary travel advice given was on traveller's diarrhoea. Conclusion: There are gaps in the knowledge and practice of travel medicine among Malaysian pharmacists. Positive attitudes of pharmacists towards travel medicine and appropriate interventions, such as incorporation of travel medicine in local pharmacy curricula, continuous pharmacy education or certified training may improve the quality of travel advice given and allow pharmacists to be recognised as a credible source of information on travel medicine.",
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