International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy

, Volume 35, Issue 5, pp 841–846 | Cite as

Physicians’ views on the professional roles of pharmacists in patient care in Eritrea

  • Merhawi Teklai AwalomEmail author
  • Medhanie Elias Kidane
  • Biruck Woldai Abraha
Research Article


Objective A collaborative relationship between physicians and pharmacists is crucial in the patient oriented role of pharmacists. In order to get an optimal patient outcome, strong cooperation between pharmacists and physicians is necessary. It is evident that in patient-oriented activities of pharmacists, their roles should be appropriately perceived and welcomed by physicians. This survey, thus, aimed to explore the perception of Eritrean physicians towards the professional roles of pharmacists in patient care. Setting The study was conducted in all hospitals in Asmara. Method A self administered questionnaire was distributed to the physicians working in Asmara hospitals. The instrument contained questions to evaluate the physicians’ level of agreement using a 5-point Likert type scale. Main outcome measure Opinions of physicians on the professional role of pharmacists. Results Out of the 55 questionnaires distributed 50 were completed and returned, giving a response rate of 90.91 %. Most of the physicians accepted the reprofessionalization of pharmacy profession (88 %); majority disagreed that pharmacists are using their full potential in patient care (60 %); physicians strongly agreed or agreed that they should accept pharmacists’ recommendations on patients’ medication (96 %). Conclusions Generally the physicians appreciated the professional role of pharmacists in patient care. They agreed with the idea of re-professionalization of pharmacy into patient care. For conclusive evidence nationwide study is recommended.


Eritrea Opinions Patient care Perceptions Pharmacists Physicians Professional roles 



We are grateful to all physicians who participated in the study. We are also grateful to ERIPA for covering the cost for printing the questionnaire. We would like to thank Mr. Chan Ving Fai from Brien Holden Vision Institute for his assistance in analysis, and Mr. Ambesajir Habtemichael, Mr. Kidane Teklai, Mr. Ghide Ghebreweld all from Orotta School of Medicine and Dental Medicine for their assistance in data collection.


This work received no financial support from any granting body or outside organization.

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare that there are no conflicts of interest associated with the submitted manuscript.


  1. 1.
    Troy DB, Gupta PK, Hoover JE, Popovick NG, Beringer P, Felton L, et al editors. Remington: The sciences and practice of pharmacy.21st ed. USA: Lippincot Williams and Wilkins; 2005. P.3, 0-7817-4673-6.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    FIP statement of policy on good pharmacy education and practice [database on the Internet]. 2000 [cited 2012 December 4]. Available from:
  3. 3.
    Roger W, Cate W, editors. Clinical pharmacy and therapeutics: 4th ed. UK: Churchill Livingtone; 2009,13:9780443102868.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Berger BA. Communication skills for pharmacists: Building relation ships, improving patient care. USA: American pharmaceutical association publication; 2002. P.1, 1-58212-042-0.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Hepler CD, Strand LM. Opportunities and responsibilities in pharmaceutical care. Am J Hosp Pharm. 1990;47(3):433–533.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Blau PM. Exchange and power in social life. New York: John Wiley and Sons; 1964.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Tessa L, Charity E, Dave B, Jeff T, Shari M. Collaboration between family physicians and community pharmacists to enhance adherence to chronic medications. Can Fam Physician. 2009;55:e69–75.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Schommer JC, Kucukarslan SN. Measuring patient satisfaction with pharmaceutical services. Am J Hosp Pharm. 1997;54:2721–32.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Ring PS, Vande Ven AH. Structuring cooperative relationships between organizations. Strategic Manage J. 1992;13:483–98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Thibaut JW, Kelley HH. The social psychology of groups. New York: John Wiley and Sons; 1959.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Hassali Ma, Awaisu A, Shafie AA, Saeed MS. Professional training and roles of community pharmacists in Malaysia: views from general medical practitioners. Malaysian Family Physician. 2009;4(2,3):6–71.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Blenkinsopp A, Jepson M, Drury M. Using a notification card to improve communication between community pharmacists and general practitioners. Br J Gen Pract. 1991;41(344):116–8.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Ritchey FJ, Raney MR, Keith TD. Physicians’ opinions of expanded clinical pharmacy services. Am J Public Health. 1983;73(1):96–101.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Muijrers PE, Knottnerus JA, Sijbrandij J, Grol RPTM, Janknegt R. Changing relationships: attitudes and opinions of general practitioners and pharmacists regarding the role of the community pharmacist. Pharm World Sci. 2003;25(5):235–41.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    McNeil IR. The New Social Contract. New Haven: Yale University Press; 1980.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Alan JZ, Jessica LM, Barry LC. Utility of a questionnaire to measure physician pharmacist Collaborative relationship. JAPhA; 2006.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Harding G, Taylor KM. Professional relationships between general practitioners and pharmacists in health centres. Br J Gen Pract. 1990;40(340):464–6.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Dipiro CD, Talbert RL, Yee GC, Matzke GR, Wells BG, Posey LM, editors. Pharmacotherapy: a pathophysiologic approach. 5th ed. USA: McGraw Hill Medical publishing division; 2002, 0-07-136361-0.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Schommer JC, Wenzel RG, Kucukarslan SN. Evaluation of pharmacists’ service for hospital inpatients. Am J Health-Syst Pharm. 2002;59:1632–7.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    World Health Organization. The role of the pharmacist in the health care system. Report of a WHO consultative group, New Delhi, India, 13–16 December 1988. Geneva: World Health Organization; 1994.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Schiff GD, Klass D, Peterson J, Shah G, Bates DW. Linking laboratory and pharmacy: opportunities for reducing errors and improving care. Arch Intern Med. 2003;163:893–900.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Hanlon JT, Weinberger M, Samsa GP, Uttech KM, Lewis IK, Cowper PA, et al. A randomized, controlled trial of a clinical pharmacist intervention to improve inappropriate prescribing in elderly outpatients with polypharmacy. Am J Med. 1996;100:427–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Leape LL, Cullen DJ, Clapp MD, Burdick E, Demonaco HJ, Erickson JI, et al. Pharmacist participation on physician rounds and adverse drug events in the intensive care unit. JAMA. 1999;282:267–70.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Beney J, Bero LA, Bond C. Expanding the roles of outpatient pharmacists: effects on health Services utilization, costs and patient outcomes (Cochrane Review) In: The Cochrane Library, issue 3, 2000. Oxford, UK.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Amerson AB, Gora-Harper ML. Introduction to the concept of medication information. In: Malone P, Mosdell KW, Kier K, Stanovich JE, editors. Drug information: a guide for pharmacists. New York: McGraw-Hill; 2001. p. 1–18.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Forman J. A web of information untangled. Boston Globe 2005 Nov 28 Sect C1.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Kucukarslan SN, Peters M, Mlynarek M, et al. Pharmacists on rounding teams reduce preventable adverse drug events in hospital general medicine units. Arch Intern Med. 2003;163:2014–8.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Jonathan DQ, James RR, Richard OL. Managing drug supply: The selection, procurement, distribution, and use of pharmaceuticals. 2nd ed. USA: Kumarian Press, Inc.; 1997:586, 1-56549-047-9.Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Herfindal ET, Gourley DR, Hart LL. Clinical pharmacy and therapeutics.5th ed. USA: Williams and Wilkins; 1992 0-683-03966-0.Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Gandhi TK, Bartel SB, Shulman LN, Verrier D, Burdick E, Cleary A, et al. Medication Safety in the Ambulatory Chemotherapy Setting. Cancer. 2005;104(11):2477–83.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Ranelli PL, Biss J. Physicians’ perceptions of communication with and responsibilities of pharmacists. J Am Pharm Assoc (Wash). 2000;40(5):625–30.Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Adepu R, Nagavi BG. General practitioners’ perceptions about the extended roles of the community pharmacists in the State of Karnataka: a study. Indian J Pharm Sci. 2006;68:3640.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Rybacki JJ, Long JW. The essential Guide to prescription drugs 2000.ed (none). USA: Harper Collins Publishers Inc. 1993. 0-06-271613-1.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Koninklijke Nederlandse Maatschappij ter bevordering der Pharmacie 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Merhawi Teklai Awalom
    • 1
    Email author
  • Medhanie Elias Kidane
    • 1
  • Biruck Woldai Abraha
    • 1
  1. 1.The School of PharmacyAsmara College of Health SciencesAsmaraEritrea

Personalised recommendations