Primary care pharmacists’ knowledge and perception of Inflammatory Bowel Disease: a cross-sectional study in Australia.
Purpose: Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) management is complex and challenging, and therefore, requires a multidisciplinary approach. Whilst pharmacists may play a key role as the first point of contact for patients with initial symptoms or disease relapse, there is scant literature on pharmacists’ knowledge in IBD management. We conducted a survey to explore pharmacists’ knowledge and their perception of pharmacists and other healthcare professionals’ roles in managing patients with IBD.
Design and Methodology: An online survey was distributed to pharmacists through professional organisations. The survey included questions about demographic information, concepts related to IBD management and the roles of pharmacists and healthcare professionals in managing patients with IBD.
Findings: Fifty two respondents completed the survey. The overall knowledge score for the majority of respondents was categorised as ‘low’ (25-50%) to ‘average’ (51-75%). IBD concept that demonstrated the highest level of accuracy in knowledge scores among pharmacists was the importance of vaccination in IBD (94.2%). Pharmacists who had exposure to patients with IBD demonstrated better knowledge scores compared to those who did not have any exposure to IBD patients in their practice (p = 0.005). Furthermore, General Practitioners (GPs) were perceived as the key care providers to IBD patients, whilst pharmacists considered themselves as important in providing medication related information to patients.
Conclusion: This study indicated that pharmacists’ knowledge of IBD and its’ management was suboptimal, but with education and training there are opportunities for pharmacists to play a more active role in managing patients with IBD.
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