تقييم احتياجات الصيادلة للتدريب والتعليم المستمر في الضفة الغربية
Training needs assessment among Palestinian pharmacists in West Bank
عبير علي محمد غنايم
abeer ali mohammed Ghanayem
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Background: Pharmacy is the health profession that is committed to ensure the safe and effective use of medication (Abu Arah, 2012). Pharmacy organizations and academic training programs have promoted pharmaceutical care in pharmacy profession to ensure that a patient achieves positive outcomes from drug therapy (Azhar et al, 2009). Continuing education is essential to update knowledge for graduated pharmacists. Unfortunately, continuing education, training programs are not available in Palestine (Sweileh, 2013). Health Human Resources should imply on policy makers to meet population health needs, and so, people would receive the optimal health care that pharmacists can provide (Manmohan, 2013). Training needs assessment and competency assessment are cornerstone steps to improve pharmacy practice in Palestine. Continuous education program is fundamental to activate pharmacist's role in the community and improve health outcomes. Aim: to assess the training needs, knowledge and skills among Palestinian pharmacists who work and live in West Bank. Methods: A quantitative cross sectional study design was used. Data collection was through self-administered questionnaire. The study covered all nine governorates in West Bank. Study sample was proportional stratified random sample among Palestinian pharmacists working in governmental health facilities (hospitals and PHC's) or community pharmacies. Findings: The overall response rate was 80%. Female participants were 59.4%, The majority of respondents held bachelor degrees (83.3%) while 9.3% held master degrees. Pharmacists working in governmental hospitals and healthcare facilities formed 28.1% of the participants. Internet sources were the most chosen source of pharmaceutical information by 83.6% of participants while 74.8% chose drug information as required area for training. Pharmacists rated high level of skills; (mean = 3.98 ± 0.44). A multiple regression was run to predict skills from participants' characteristics. Both practice field and workplace location (governorate) statistically significantly predicted skills, (F(2,374)= 51.140, P<0.001, R2 =0.215). The two variables were added statistically significantly to the prediction, (P <0.001). On average, pharmacists working in community pharmacies reported better skills than those working in governmental health facilities (P < 0.001). Pharmacists working in Ramallah reported the best skills while pharmacists working in Jerusalem reported the weakest skills at (P =0.005). No significant differences were observed in relation to participants' age, gender, educational degree, years of experience,pharmacy education language or country of pharmacy education (P > 0.05). In general, knowledge scores of participants were good (mean = 73.7% ± 20.0). The majority (87%) of the participants achieved more than 50% of correct scores. Multiple regression was run to predict knowledge scores from participants' characteristics. Gender, educational qualifications, practice field and workplace location statistically significantly predicted knowledge, (F (4,370) = 31.947, P < 0.001, R2 = 0.257). All four variables added statistically significantly to the prediction, (P < 0.001). On average, females respondents rated better knowledge scores than males at (P < 0.05). Pharmacistscarrying master degree rated better knowledge scores than pharmacists carrying B.Sc. in pharmacy or Pharm D degrees at (P < 0.001). Pharmacists working in governmental health facilities rated better knowledge scores than those working in private pharmacies at (P < 0.001). Pharmacists working in Jericho rated the best knowledge scores, while pharmacists working in Nablus rated the least knowledge scores at (P < 0.001). Respondents' age, pharmacy education language, years of experience and country of education were not associated with neither knowledge scores nor skills scores (P > 0.05). Conclusions: The results of the study indicated that Palestinian pharmacists' competencies should be improved. Detection of areas of training, establishment of continuous education program and setting standards for entry to practice are some suggestions for development of pharmacy practice in West Bank.