Background Use of antibiotics has been correlated with increasing rates of resistance. Pharmacists are ideally positioned as front line health care providers to limit indiscriminate antibiotic use and promote the safe and effective administration of these medications. Objective The aim of this project was to assess pharmacists’ opinions relating to antibiotic utilization in the community setting. Setting Doha, Qatar. Method Community and primary care pharmacists were invited to participate in one of three focus groups or a semi-structured interview at Qatar University or at their site of employment. A total of 22 community and primary care pharmacists participated in this study. Interviews were facilitated using a focus group guide, were recorded, and later transcribed. Transcripts were reviewed for recurring themes and coded using Nvivo software for qualitative research. Main outcome measure Pharmacists’ perceptions. Results Five major themes emerged from a series of focus groups and interviews. Themes which recurred across interview groups included: misconceptions and inappropriate practices by patients and healthcare providers, currently implemented strategies, perceived barriers, ways to overcome perceived barriers, and targets for improvement of antibiotic use in Qatar. The greatest need, as identified by pharmacists in this study was increased knowledge of the general population about appropriate antibiotic use through various educational interventions. Conclusion Pharmacists report a number of misconceptions and inappropriate practices relating to antibiotic use in Qatar by patients and healthcare providers. Education to improve knowledge of appropriate antibiotic use is needed. Despite recognition of these issues, barriers are preventing pharmacists from implementing strategies to improve antibiotic use in Qatar.
Antibiotics Community pharmacy General public Pharmacist Pharmacist opinion Qatar
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The authors of this manuscript would like to thank the Qatar Petroleum Health and Wellness Center pharmacy department for their contributions to this project.
This study was completed with funding from an Internal Student Grant from Qatar University.
Conflicts of interest
The authors of this paper report no conflicts of interest.
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