Qualitative exploration of perspectives of the pharmacists working in public-sector hospitals during COVID-19 pandemic

J Pharm Policy Pract. 2023 Mar 17;16(1):45. doi: 10.1186/s40545-023-00549-w.


BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic, a serious global health threat, has excruciating social and economic implications given its transmissibility, lack of therapy, and severity. In such a situation, pharmacists as frontline healthcare professionals hold a significant position to tackle. This study was designed to explore the perception and preparedness of pharmacists working in public sector hospitals amid such a pandemic in Pakistan.

METHODS: A total of 11 pharmacists were interviewed for this qualitative study design through a semi-structured interview guide. The interviews were recorded and transcribed verbatim.

RESULTS: The thematic content analysis yielded six major themes; understanding of COVID-19, perceptions towards COVID-19, preventive aspects, management aspects, changes to lifestyle, and psychological aspects. Though efficient preparedness and approach to fighting against such pandemics were reported, pharmacists were found susceptible to infection and psychological stress. They also expressed lockdown as an effective measure to prevent the disease from spreading but still were concerned about its economic and social impact.

CONCLUSIONS: Adequate planning and facilities from the national level should be made available for strengthening the hospital pharmacy service that helps improve the overall healthcare system of low- and middle-income countries like Pakistan. The provision of a protective facility, incentives, and occupational health surveillance packages are deemed necessary to boost the self-esteem and morale of hospital pharmacists that safeguard the early and effective management of such disasters.

PMID:36932458 | DOI:10.1186/s40545-023-00549-w

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