Saturday, 15 September 2018

Pharmacists' knowledge, attitudes, and practices towards herbal remedies in the West Bank: a cross-sectional study

ABSTRACTS| VOLUME 391, SPECIAL ISSUE , S17, FEBRUARY 21, 2018 Maher Khdour, PhD Manar Kurdi, BSc Hussein Hallak, PhD Mohammad Dweib, MSc Qusai Al-Shahed, MSc DOI: Abstract Article Info Abstract Background The consumption of complementary and herbal products is increasing in many parts of the world. The purpose of this study was to investigate the knowledge and attitudes among pharmacists in West Bank towards the use of herbal products. Methods This cross-sectional study was done in the four largest cities in occupied Palestinian territory (Ramallah, Hebron, Bethlehem, and Nablus) between Dec 10, 2014, and March 30, 2015. Pharmacists from all specialties (community pharmacists, hospital pharmacists, and medical representatives) were invited to complete a questionnaire after giving informed consent. The responses to the questionnaire were reviewed by four research experts for face validity and piloted with 12 pharmacists to test for clarity. The questionnaire had two sections. The first section requested details of the participant's demographic information (eg, age, sex), whereas the second section included open-ended questions about the participant's behaviours towards and knowledge about use of herbal remedies. Findings 350 pharmacists completed the questionnaire. The mean age of pharmacists was 32·9 years (SD 6·5). 238 (68%) pharmacists worked in community pharmacies, and their experience in practice ranged from 1–26 years. Only 133 (38%) pharmacists believed that herbal products are very effective, and 171 (49%) pharmacists believed that herbal remedies are very safe. Product packaging and product representatives were the sources of information most consulted by the pharmacists (154 [44%] for product packaging vs 89 [25%] for product representatives). General health tonic preparations were the most widely dispensed drugs, followed by cough preparations (19%). 227 (65%) pharmacists believed that herbal remedies were effective, but 175 (50%) pharacists reported concern about their safety. The knowledge about indications for herbal medicines was good, but the pharmacists' awareness of interactions and adverse effects was inadequate. 308 (88%) pharmacists believed that regulation of herbal products should be increased, whereas 262 (75%) pharmacists believed that available information about herbal products is inadequate. Interpretation Many pharmacists in West Bank believed that herbal remedies were an effective alternative therapeutic option. Continued education of herbal medicine for practicing pharmacists should be encouraged to enable pharmacists to provide competent, effective, and holistic patient care. Funding None. Contributors MK and HH jointly conceived, designed, and coordinated the study. MK and HH critically revised the Abstract for important intellectual content. MK, MD, and QA-S contributed to data acquisition and analyses and critically revised the Abstract for important intellectual content. All authors have read and approved the final version of the Abstract for publication. Declaration of interests We declare no competing interests. Article Info Publication History Published: 21 February 2018 IDENTIFICATION DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(18)30342-8 Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. ScienceDirect Access this article on ScienceDirect