Role of community pharmacists in the prevention and management of the metabolic syndrome in Kuwait
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Background The metabolic syndrome is a cluster of cardiovascular risk factors and its prevalence is alarmingly high in Kuwait, affecting nearly one third of the adult population. There is lack of information about the role of community pharmacists in the care of patients with the metabolic syndrome. Objective To assess the awareness and opinions of community pharmacists about the metabolic syndrome and identify the services they provide for identification, management and monitoring of patients with the metabolic syndrome. Setting Community pharmacies in Kuwait. Method A descriptive, cross-sectional study was performed on a randomly selected sample of 225 community pharmacists. Data were collected via face-to-face structured interview of the pharmacists using a pre-tested questionnaire. Main outcome measures Pharmacists’ knowledge and views on the metabolic syndrome, monitoring services provided, self-reported practices and perceived effectiveness of the various management interventions for the metabolic syndrome. Results The response rate was 97.8 %. Nine pharmacists claimed to know about the metabolic syndrome, but only one pharmacist could identify the condition correctly. After being given a definition of the metabolic syndrome, 67.7 % of respondents strongly agreed that its prevalence was rising in Kuwait. Nearly two thirds of respondents reported providing height and weight measurement service while 82.7 and 59.5 % of pharmacies provided blood pressure and blood glucose measurements, respectively. Waist circumference and lipid profile measurements were the least provided services (1.8 %). Respondents claimed to be involved in counseling patients on lifestyle modifications including increased exercise (98.1 %) and weight reduction through diet (96.9 %). Most pharmacists were involved in encouraging patients’ adherence with prescribed treatments (98.6 %) and perceived these as the most effective intervention for the management of the metabolic syndrome (95.0 %). Respondents were less involved in monitoring patients’ response to therapy (75.0 %) and documenting patient care services (5.0 %). Conclusion This study revealed significant deficits in awareness among community pharmacists about the metabolic syndrome. Given the proper education and training, community pharmacists could be important front-line contributors to the control of this emerging epidemic in Kuwait.
KeywordsCommunity pharmacists Kuwait Metabolic syndrome
We are grateful to the pharmacists who agreed to participate in this study. We thank Dr. Rashed Khazal for his assistance in reaching community pharmacies in Al-Jahra. Those who are interested in using the questionnaire are suggested to write to the corresponding author to obtain a copy.
Conflicts of interest
Authors have no conflicts of interest with regard to the data produced.
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