Assessment of Level of Knowledge of Management of Acne vulgaris among Community Pharmacists and Prescribers in Lusaka Urban
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Acne is a common skin condition affecting almost 85% of the population. Everyone has the risk of developing acne at certain stages of life. The management of acne in early stages is important for disease prognosis. Patients with acne usually present at community pharmacies and clinics during the early stages of their disease. Assessment of knowledge and practice of community pharmacists and prescribers in treating these patients is required. The aim of this study was to assess the levels of knowledge in acne management among community pharmacists and prescribers in Lusaka urban. The study was designed as a cross-sectional survey and was conducted on 89 community pharmacists and prescribers working in Lusaka, Zambia. Participants were asked to answer a self administered questionnaire on the management of acne vulgaris that comprised questions evaluating the knowledge on disease causes, aggravating or relieving factors, treatment practices and use of reference materials. The study revealed that Pharmacists and prescribers had inadequate levels of knowledge on disease management; 21% had low levels of knowledge where as only 6% had high levels of knowledge. By category, 36% of the prescribers had low levels and 10% had high levels of knowledge. 8% of the pharmacists had low levels of knowledge and only 2% had high levels. Lack of knowledge was reflected in their treatment practices, 62.9% never classified acne when initiating treatment and less than a quarter managed acne cases independently. This study showed no association of levels of knowledge to referral of patients with severe acne (p>0.05). It was concluded from the study that pharmacists and prescribers have inadequate knowledge and practice for management of acne. Steps should be taken to update and improve their dermatological knowledge.