Patient’s Perception of Community Pharmacist in North Malabar region of Kerala, India: A questionnaire based study
Pharmacists as vital healthcare professionals play significant role in effective medication management and their use among the patients. However the perception of community pharmacist among the public needs to be assessed for effective role and further patient care. This questionnaire based study was aimed to identify the perception of patients towards the community pharmacist in north Malabar region of Kerala, India. The questionnaire consisted of 16 questions with sections evaluating the demographic details (age, sex, marital status, education level & occupation) and the perception of patients towards the community pharmacist. The results were prepared based upon the responses obtained from 110 patients. The study respondents consisted of 51 (46.36%) adults (18-59 years) and 59 (53.63%) geriatrics (above 60 years). Based on their education level, 9 (8.18%), 35 (31.81%) and 66 (60%) participants were illiterate, secondary school and graduate holders respectively. The respondents of the study informed that the pharmacist enquired about their past medication history (58, 52.73%), any allergic reactions (21, 19.1%) and use of any herbal medication (31, 28.18%) prior to the dispensing process. The patients also responded that proper advice regarding dosage (90%), side effects (25%), storage (12%), healthy eating & exercise (10%) were also provided by the concerned pharmacist. As a matter of fact, 91 out of 110 patients thought the pharmacist service were good, 17 thought they were fairly good and 2 were of the opinion that it was poor. The pharmacy rating was evaluated as good by 32 (29.09%), fairly good by 78 (70.90%) and no respondents were of opinion that the pharmacy was poor in its service. Through this study, we found that the overall perception of patients towards the pharmacist in concerned community pharmacy setting was good. To further improvise their role, continued pharmacy education programmes, better communication skills and good professional training must be imparted among the community pharmacists.