Assessment of Egyptian pharmacists’ attitude, behaviors, and preferences related to continuing education
Background Contemporary pharmaceutical care requires sustained pharmacist competency through maintenance and improvement of knowledge, skills, and performance. Existing continuing education (CE) models reflect a wide spectrum of international approaches to life-long learning. Objective The objective of this study was to determine CE preferences of pharmacists in Egypt before implementing a plan for compulsory annual CE activities and events for licensure renewal. Setting A questionnaire containing questions about continuing education needs and preferences of Egyptian pharmacists was distributed to 400 pharmacies in Cairo. The sample was drawn randomly from the address list in yellow pages. The survey was conducted by personal interview. Method The questionnaire was designed and validated. Questions were divided into specific domains of interest including pharmacist demographics; access to internet resources; frequency and characteristics of past CE activities; preferences for delivery and content; motivation to participation; and plans for future CE activities. All data analyses were conducted using SPSS for Windows version 18.0. All statistical tests were 2-tailed and based on a significance level of p value ≤ 0.05. Results During the six months of questionnaire distribution, 400 pharmacists (one from each randomly selected pharmacies) were asked to complete the questionnaire. The response rate was 359 out of 400 pharmacists (89.75%). Twenty three percent of respondents had held their highest pharmacy degree to practice for less than 5 years and 19% had obtained their initial degree more than 15 years ago. More than half of the respondents were female (53.3%). Topics related to therapeutics were of highest interest to 85.3%, closely followed by clinical skills topics. Pharmacists working in community pharmacies had attended less CE events (15 vs. 28%, p = 0.034 within the past 2 years) when compared to their hospital-based counterparts. Conversely, hospital pharmacists generally reported less satisfaction with current CE (21 vs. 33%, p = 0.021). Conclusion Respondents of the survey expressed enthusiasm towards CE activity, but cited common barriers to participation, as well, such as employer-and technology-based obstacles. These results confirm that features of a successful CE program must be flexible to meet preferences and perceived needs of Egyptian pharmacists.
KeywordsCairo Continuing education Egypt Pharmacists Preferences Questionnaire
The author is very grateful for Ms. Mena M. Almallah for her efforts in editing and preparing the final draft for this manuscript.
No specific funding was obtained for this study.
Conflicts of interest
The author declare no conflict of interest.
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