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Abstract

Background Many diabetes patients choose to participate in the Ramadan fast despite medical and religious advice to the contrary. Pharmacists, especially in ambulatory care, are considered the most easily and readily accessible health care providers whose guidance can help ensure safe fasting for these patients. Objective The aim of this novel study is to describe Qatar pharmacists' current practice, knowledge, and attitudes towards diabetes medication management during Ramadan. Methodology This cross-sectional descriptive study was performed among a convenience sample of 500 pharmacists in various practice settings in Qatar. A web-based, 30-items questionnaire was systematically developed following comprehensive literature review. The volume and nature of pharmacist interactions with diabetes patients was explored. Pharmacists' awareness and knowledge of relevant resources, endorsed by international medical and religious bodies, were evaluated. In addition, their attitudes regarding pharmacist role in diabetes care during Ramadan were assessed. Data was entered and analyzed using SPSS Version 19. Results: The survey was completed by 166 (33%) pharmacists during May and June 2012. Eighty-eight (53%) were based in ambulatory care and reported somewhat more interaction (at least weekly) with diabetes patients during Ramadan than hospital pharmacists (70.4%, vs. 55.8%, p=0.08). Three-quarter of respondents had never read recommended diabetes Ramadan guidelines with 62% using Internet resources as their primary reference to answer fasting-related diabetes questions. Two-thirds of respondents correctly identified how to modify oral diabetes therapy dosing during Ramadan, but just 20 (12%) did so for insulin. Despite stated barriers of workload, insufficient access to patient medical records and private counseling areas, pharmacists overwhelmingly expressed willingness to assume greater roles in diabetes patient education during Ramadan. Conclusion Qatar pharmacists frequently interact with diabetes patients, but application of recommended medical guidelines for care and medication dosing for fasting patients is not optimal. While there are various barriers limiting pharmacist participation in diabetes management during Ramadan, they are motivated to assume a greater role in developing this service.

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/content/papers/10.5339/qfarf.2013.BIOSP-015
2013-11-20
2020-09-18
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http://instance.metastore.ingenta.com/content/papers/10.5339/qfarf.2013.BIOSP-015
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