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Knowledge of community pharmacists about antibiotics, and their perceptions and practices regarding antimicrobial stewardship: a cross-sectional study in Punjab, Pakistan

Authors Sarwar MR, Saqib A, Iftikhar S, Sadiq T

Received 2 August 2017

Accepted for publication 26 November 2017

Published 18 January 2018 Volume 2018:11 Pages 133—145


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Colin Mak

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Sahil Khanna

Muhammad Rehan Sarwar,1,2 Anum Saqib,1 Sadia Iftikhar,2 Tayyaba Sadiq3

1Department of Pharmacy, Islamia University of Bahawalpur, Bahawalpur, 2Akhtar Saeed College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Lahore, 3Department of Pharmacy, University of Sargodha, Sargodha, Pakistan

Objective: To evaluate the knowledge of community pharmacists about antibiotics, and their perceptions and practices toward antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) in Punjab, Pakistan.
Materials and methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted among community pharmacists in Punjab, Pakistan from April 1, 2017 to May 31, 2017. A self-administered and pretested questionnaire was used for data collection. A simple random-sampling method was used to select community pharmacies. Independent-sample Mann–Whitney U tests, independent sample Kruskal–Wallis tests, and logistic regression analysis were performed with SPSS version 21.0.
Results: Of the 414 pharmacists, 400 responded to the survey (response rate 96.6%). The participants had good knowledge about antibiotics. They showed positive perceptions, but poor practices regarding AMS. All of the participants were of the view that AMS program could be beneficial for health care professionals for improvement of patient care, and 78% (n=312) of participants gave their opinion about incorporation of AMS programs in community pharmacies. Collaboration was never/rarely undertaken by pharmacists with other health care professionals over the use of antibiotics (n=311, 77.8%), and a significant proportion of participants (n=351, 87.8%) never/rarely participated in AMS-awareness campaigns. Logistic regression analysis revealed that male sex (OR 0.204, 95% CI 0.104−0.4; P<0.001), age 20–29 years (OR 0.172, 95% CI 0.05−0.595; P=0.005), and <1 year of experience (OR 0.197, 95% CI 0.083−0.468; P<0.001) were the factors associated with poor practices regarding AMS.
Conclusion: Pharmacists had good knowledge about antibiotics. There were some gaps in perceptions and practices of community pharmacists regarding AMS. In the current scenario, it will be critical to fill these gaps and improve perceptions and practices of community pharmacists regarding AMS by developing customized interventions.

Keywords: antimicrobial stewardship, community pharmacist, antibiotics

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