Community Pharmacy Practice Towards Cancer Health and the Need for Continuous Cancer Education: Ghana Situation

Author(s): Kofi Boamah Mensah*, Frasia Oosthuizen and Varsha Bangalee

Traditionally, cancer patients are managed mostly within the secondary healthcare system. As the burden of the disease increases, secondary care has to work with the primary care to provide good support for healthy population, the patients, etc. The community pharmacists are one of the primary care providers because they are the most accessible healthcare providers in the community. For this group to meet these demands of an evolving new role and improve the health outcomes, continuous professional development (CPD) is essential. This study was set to gather information about the professional practice of Ghanaian community pharmacists on cancer health, their interest and importance in receiving continuous education on cancer.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted using electronic questionnaires.

Key Findings: Majority (67.1%) spent less than or ten minutes of their time interacting with patients and 70.8% referred patients who consistently request for medication to a hospital. Majority of participants (43.4%) have never attended cancer continuous education and 67.6% indicated their interest in receiving cancer continuous education in the future. There was statistically significant difference between the educational level and professional interaction with cancer patients (p=0.004). Provision of cancer printed materials (p=0.00) and interest in attending cancer continuous education in the future (p=0.007) were also significantly affected by educational level. ‘Handout/booklet with self- test’ was the preferred mode of delivery for cancer education. Conclusion: community pharmacists strongly play a significant role in cancer health through their professional practice. The challenges observed can be overcome through a well-organized cancer continuous education using participants preferred medium of delivery.

Full-Text | PDF