Perceptions And Barriers Towards Provision Of Health Promotion Activities Among Community Pharmacists In The State Of Penang, Malaysia
Dr Mohamed Azmi Ahmad Hassali, PhD Senior Lecturer, Discipline of Social and Administrative Pharmacy,School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia,11800 Minden, Penang, Malaysia. E-mail: email@example.com, azmihassali@ usm.my Tel: +604-6534085.
Introduction: Health promotion is the process of enabling people to increase control over their health and to improve their health. Within this context, the community pharmacist, as one of the most accessible healthcare practitioners, plays a major role in the provision of health promotion activities to the society at large.
Objectives: To document the current level of involvement with health promotion activities among community pharmacists in the State of Penang, Malaysia
Methods: A cross-sectional study using a validated questionnaire was undertaken with a convenient sample of community pharmacists practicing in the State of Penang. The completed questionnaires were analyzed as per the study objectives.
Results: A total of 100 questionnaires were distributed to 100 community pharmacists practicing in Penang state. At the end of the survey, 80 questionnaires were collected back (response rate: 80%). The top five health promotion activities currently undertaken by community pharmacists, were weight management (n=74, 92.5%), diabetes counseling (n=73, 91.3%), traditional and complementary medicine counseling (n=67, 83.8%), nutrition and physical activity (n=66, 82.5%) and asthma counseling (n=65, 81.3%). Most of the respondents (n=60, 75.1%) either strongly agreed or agreed that lack of time is the barrier limiting them from involving in health promotion activities. Only 23 (28.8%) respondents stated lack of profitability as a reason for not taking part in health promotion activities. A majority of the respondents (n=79, 98.8%) were aware that health promotion is part of the pharmacistâ€™s responsibility. We found 62 (77.5%) respondents who provided health education and promotion programs to the public.
Conclusion: Most of the community pharmacists in Penang showed a high confidence in providing health promotion activities. Still, there are lots of obstacles for the community pharmacists to overcome in order to involve themselves in health promotion activities. Training and continual support in terms of continuing professional development and life-long learning is essential to empower the community pharmacists.