EVALUATING THE KNOWLEDGE AND ATTITUDE OF COMMUNITY PHARMACISTS TOWARD HIV INFECTED PATIENTS
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PUBLIC HEALTH PROJECT TOPICS AND MATERIALS ON EVALUATING THE KNOWLEDGE AND ATTITUDE OF COMMUNITY PHARMACISTS TOWARD HIV INFECTED PATIENTS
INTRODUCTION TO THE STUDY
1.1 Background to the Study
Over the past two decades the standard of HIV treatment has changed significantly. Knowledge of the pathophysiology of HIV has developed rapidly and contributed to the development of new medicines. The attitudes of health care practitioners about emerging ideas regarding HIV treatment are becoming more important, in addition to changes of awareness. Current HIV care’s central philosophy puts emphasis on patient autonomy and optimum use of the different specialties of health care practitioners. Study findings from scientific, economic and humanistic tests, too strongly supports the importance of patient autonomy and a team approach to HIV care. Pharmacists’ knowledge and attitudes toward HIV can significantly influence patient outcomes (Hsiang-Yin, 2014).
Given the prevailing concept of a team approach to HIV care, the quality of patient care could only be ensured when all healthcare providers share the same high level of knowledge and positive attitudes (Hsiang-Yin, 2014). Pharmacists are highly accessible to chronically ill patients such as HIV patients, especially when the disease gets managed and the patient only needs to visit a pharmacy to get their prescription refilled (Hsiang-Yin, 2014). Pharmaceutical care has significantly reduced the occurrence of drug-related problems and fulfilled the desired outcomes of drug therapy in other diseases and conditions such as anticoagulation, hyperlipidemia, and asthma (Jungnickel PW, 1997). Studies have also shown that pharmacists’ participation in the management of poorly controlled HIV patients resulted in better outcomes (Jungnickel PW, 1997).
This research focuses on the attitude and awareness of HIV-infected group pharmacists that also received special mention in the WHO adherence survey (WHO, 2013). HIV infected is a disease of pandemic proportions which makes its presence increasingly felt in the developing world, where it is predicted; most of the HIV burden in the world will be borne in the future (King H, 1998). It is also a disease in which antiretroviral therapy and behavioral modification play a major role in the diagnosis and management of the disease (Chitre MM, 2016) and in which health-promoting strategies in each of these therapeutic areas are accommodated within the established scope of practice of the pharmacist (Wermeille J, 2014) (Kiel PJ, 2015) (Johnson LC, 1997).
Many, if not all, people diagnosed with HIV use long-term antiretroviral therapy to treat their disease. The dynamic recurrence refill offers regular personal and knowledgeable communication between the patient and the pharmacist and thus positions the community pharmacist for roles in HIV care beyond the traditional medicine dispensing role (Kiel PJ, 2015) (Johnson LC, 1997). Encounters of this nature present pharmacists with ideal opportunities to provide pharmaceutical care across a range of chronic diseases.