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Use of simulated patient approach to assess the community pharmacists' knowledge of appropriate use of metered dose inhaler

Author(s): Sunday O Nduka, Maureen U Anetoh, Kosisochi C Amorha, Okechukwu O Henry, Mathew J Okonta

Rationale: The pharmacist charged with the responsibility of drug administration and counseling should have the basic knowledge and skills necessary to demonstrate the use of metered dose inhalers (MDIs) to asthma patients for the maximization of treatment outcomes. Objective: This study was designed to evaluate the community pharmacists’ knowledge of the appropriate use of MDIs in Anambra State, Nigeria. Methods: The study was carried out in two major cities in Anambra State, Nigeria, using 41 registered community pharmacists. A simulated patient approach utilizing two adequately trained pharmacy students were used. Obtained data were analyzed using independent t‑test and one‑way ANOVA through SPSS version 18. Results: The pharmacists had a mean demonstration score of 45.45%. Step number seven of the correct use of MDI, which involves breathing in and depressing the canister was the most demonstrated step (90.2%) while step 4 which involves tilting the head back slightly was the least demonstrated (14.6%) by the pharmacists. Among five identified critical steps in asthma guideline used, two were well demonstrated (75.6% and 90.2%): one averagely demonstrated (51.2%) and two poorly demonstrated (39% and 31.7%). Sociodemographic characteristics did not influence the demonstration ability of the pharmacists in this study. Conclusion: The study indicated that community pharmacists lacked the adequate knowledge of appropriate use of MDI. Training programs for pharmacists focusing on the use of such devices will enable them to educate patients on the effective use of MDIs in patients with asthma.

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