Evaluating the knowledge and attitude of Community Pharmacists towards type II Diabetes in Lusaka, Zambia

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Mwalungali, Gunet
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This study is hinged on the basis that tin addition to knowledge updates, the attitudes of health care professionals toward current concepts about diabetes care is just as critical. The core philosophy of modern diabetes care puts emphasis on patient autonomy and optimal utilization of health care professionals’ different specialties.This study was undertaken to evaluate the knowledge and attitude of community pharmacists toward diabetes care. This was a descriptive cross-sectional study. The aim of this study was to determine the attitude and knowledge of community pharmacists towards type II diabetes in Lusaka. This study was designed to identify the knowledge that pharmacists routinely provided to people with diabetes and their attitudes towards the disease. Eighty four conveniently selected community pharmacists were surveyed by the Diabetes knowledge Test (DKT) and Diabetes Attitude Survey (DAS) questionnaires. The Diabetes Knowledge Test evaluated the pharmacists’ diabetes knowledge based on a validated 23 item questionnaire, the Michigan Diabetes Knowledge Test (MDKT).The Attitude Survey involved the likert scale to determine the community pharmacist’s perceptions about the seriousness of type II diabetes, psychological impact of the disease, patient autonomy, need for special training in diabetes and finally the value of tight glucose control in type II diabetes. The results showed the mean Diabetes Knowledge Test’s overall score being 13.77/23(59.86%). General diabetes information score was 8.96/15(59.3%) and for Insulin Therapy-specific questions was 4.84/8(60.5%). The mean Attitude Survey’s overall score on the likert scale was 3.04. Amongst the subscales of the Attitude Survey, the need for special training scored the highest (3.28) and the score on the subscale for patient autonomy was the least (2.88).This showed unacceptable level of knowledge and a bias of attitude towards neutral (neither positive nor negative).There was no association between knowledge and attitude of community pharmacists involved in the study. Some statistical difference was noted in respondents levels of knowledge based on their differences in ethnicity (race), practice setting (other than community pharmacy)and level of education. In conclusion, the study has revealed with consideration of all its possible limitations and strengths that the levels of knowledge and attitude of community pharmacists in Lusaka are unacceptable. The attitude of community pharmacists equally leaves much to be desired as it displayed a lot of indecision with its tendency toward the neutral, meaning that the patient’s expected desirable outcome could not have a guarantee to be optimised.
Drug stores-Lusaka, Zambia , Community Pharmacists , Diabetes Mellitus