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Knowledge, attitudes, and practice of community pharmacists towards providing counseling on vitamins, and nutritional supplements in Saudi Arabia

Clinical Pharmacy, Pharmacy college, Taif University, Taif, Saudi Arabia

Background: Pharmacists play an important role in the healthcare system and have a greater impact on the outcome of public health programs. Patients who seek nutrition and vitamin advice presume the role of community pharmacists including the recommendation of effective vitamin and nutritional products. Objective: To determine the knowledge, attitudes, and practice of community pharmacists towards providing counseling on vitamins and nutritional supplements in Saudi Arabia. Setting: All community pharmacies in all cities in Saudi Arabia. Methods: A cross-sectional study methodology. The study was conducted between September 2019 and April 2020. Google survey was used to collect the samples from community pharmacists across Saudi Arabia. Main outcome measure: Main outcome measure knowledge, attitudes, and practice of community pharmacists towards providing counseling on vitamins and nutritional supplements. Results: A total of 1199 questionnaires were distributed electronically. Only 1041 were obtained to representing an 86.8% success rate. A significant majority of the respondents in this study were males (98.7%) and aged between 23–34 years (80.7%). Most of the community pharmacists in this study were non-Saudi residents 96.4%. Only 24.0% had certification from the Saudi National Board. Daily, the majority of the pharmacists attended to an estimated 100–200 patients 62.3% with only 22.7% attending to more than 200 customers per day. Most of the community pharmacists 86.4% have received a form of training on vitamins and nutritional supplements. Most of the community pharmacists counsel their patients about the side effects of vitamins and nutritional supplements. Conclusion: Community pharmacists in Saudi Arabia have adequate knowledge and a positive attitude about vitamins and nutritional supplements. Our findings indicate that training courses are needed to improve pharmacists’ communication skills to play more roles in counseling and enhancing their practice.
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