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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Diabetes patient management by pharmacists during Ramadan

Kerry Wilbur*, Kawthar Al Tawengi and Eman Remoden

Author Affiliations

College of Pharmacy, Qatar University, PO Box 2713 Doha, Qatar

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BMC Health Services Research 2014, 14:117  doi:10.1186/1472-6963-14-117

Published: 10 March 2014

Abstract

Background

Many Muslim diabetes patients choose to participate in Ramadan despite medical advice to the contrary. This study aims to describe Qatar pharmacists’ practice, knowledge, and attitudes towards guiding diabetes medication management during Ramadan.

Methods

A cross-sectional descriptive study was performed among a convenience sample of 580 Qatar pharmacists. A web-based questionnaire was systematically developed following comprehensive literature review and structured according to 4 main domains: subject demographics; diabetes patient care experiences; knowledge of appropriate patient care during Ramadan fasting; and attitudes towards potential pharmacist responsibilities in this regard.

Results

In the 3 months prior to Ramadan (July 2012), 178 (31%) pharmacists responded to the survey. Ambulatory (103, 58%) and inpatient practices (72, 41%) were similarly represented. One-third of pharmacists reported at least weekly interaction with diabetes patients during Ramadan. The most popular resources for management advice were the internet (94, 53%) and practice guidelines (80, 45%); however only 20% were aware of and had read the American Diabetes Association Ramadan consensus document. Pharmacist knowledge scores of appropriate care was overall fair (99, 57%). Pharmacists identified several barriers to participating in diabetes management including workload and lack of private counseling areas, but expressed attitudes consistent with a desire to assume greater roles in advising fasting diabetes patients.

Conclusion

Qatar pharmacists face several practical barriers to guiding diabetes patient self-management during Ramadan, but are motivated to assume a greater role in such care. Educational programs are necessary to improve pharmacist knowledge in the provision of accurate patient advice.

Keywords:
Diabetes; Patient care; Fasting; Ramadan; Pharmacist