Effective asthma management requires a multidisciplinary approach that includes; the physician, the patient, and the patient’s family.
The current study aimed to assess the roles played by community pharmacists toward asthma control together with the barriers hindering their practice and possible strategies to overcome those barriers.
A multi-centered cross-sectional study was conducted. Data was collected using a structured, self-administered questionnaire adapted from previously conducted studies and customized to fit with the current study setup. The collected data was cleaned, coded, and entered into Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 21 for analysis. Descriptive analysis of the collected data was conducted and the results were presented using frequency tables and graphs.
A total of 122 community pharmacy professionals; 63 from Gondar, 26 from Bahir Dar, 15 from Debre Markos, 14 from Woldia, and 4 from Debre birhan participated in the study. About 96 (78.7%) of the participants reported that they teach their patients the basic facts about asthma. More than two-thirds of the participants 85 (69.7%) also reported that they were able to identify and manage the triggering factors of asthma for their patients. Lack of pharmacist time was reported by 78 (63.9%) of the study participants as a major reason for the inadequacy of the counseling service provided.
It appears evident that there is a need for continuing professional education and pharmacists to receive additional training to improve their ability to go beyond identifying a problem and suggesting therapeutic options.