Beliefs, practices and knowledge of community pharmacists regarding complementary and alternative
medicine: national cross-sectional study in Lebanon
Introduction Pharmacists are uniquely positioned to
provide patients with evidence-based information in order to ensure effective and safe use of Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) products.
Objective Assess beliefs, practices and knowledge
related to CAM products among community pharmacists
in Lebanon. Design, methods and setting Using stratified random sampling, a nationally representative survey was
conducted among community pharmacists in Lebanon.
Through face-to-face interviews, pharmacists completed a multicomponent questionnaire consisting of four sections: (1) sociodemographic characteristics; (2) beliefs related to regulation of CAM products, role of media in promoting their safe use, availability of resources and continuing education; (3) practices including selling CAM products, providing advice for patients and reporting adverse effects and (4) knowledge about specific CAM products, their uses, side effects and interactions.
Results A total of 341 pharmacists agreed to participate
(response rate: 86%). Only pharmacists with complete
data were included in this study (n=310). Pharmacists
agreed that CAM products are effective (63.8%) and that
they should be exclusively sold in pharmacies (80.3%),
but disagreed that commercially marketed CAM products
are well regulated (63.5%) and that media plays a
positive role in educating users about these products
(55.8%). As for practices, 64.5% of pharmacists were
always or often advising patients on safe use; however,
74.2% of participants rarely or never reported adverse
effects. Regarding knowledge, although the majority of
pharmacists were aware of the uses of CAM products,
fewer knew about their side effects and their interactions
with drugs. After adjustment for covariates, receiving
education/training on CAM products during university was the sole predictor of higher knowledge score (ß=0.68,
95%CI 0.29 to 1.07). Conclusions This study revealed positive beliefs of
pharmacists in Lebanon towards CAM products and
indicated important gaps in their practice and knowledge.
Deliberate efforts to enhance the education of pharmacists are warranted to ensure the safe integration and use of CAM products in Lebanon
Mohamad Ali Mustafa Hijazi
Abdalla Mohamad El-lakany, Maha Ahmed Aboulela, Mohamad Alameddine, Farah Naja, Samer Kharoubi
BMJ Open,DOI: doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2018-025074, ISSN: 2019;9:e025074, Volume: 9, Issue: 3, Pages Range: 1-10,