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Title: Community pharmacy professionals' practice in responding to minor symptoms experienced by pregnant women in Ethiopia: results from sequential mixed methods
Contributor(s): Ayele, Asnakew Achaw  (author)orcid ; Islam, Md Shahidul  (author)orcid ; Cosh, Suzanne  (author)orcid ; East, Leah  (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2022-04-06
Open Access: Yes
DOI: 10.1186/s40545-022-00427-x
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In countries with limited access to healthcare services, community pharmacists' management of minor symptoms experienced by pregnant women could be beneficial in terms of alleviating the burden of other health professionals and cost of services. However, evidence is limited regarding the practice of community pharmacy professionals in responding to minor pregnancy-related symptoms more generally, particularly in Ethiopia.


The aim of this study was to evaluate actual and self-reported practice of community pharmacists in the management of minor symptoms during pregnancy in Ethiopia.


A sequential mixed method study using self-reported survey from 238 community pharmacists followed by 66 simulated client visits was conducted from March to July 2020 in six towns of the Amhara regional state in Ethiopia. Independent samples t-test and one-way Analysis of Variance was used to test the mean difference of practice score among subgroups of study participants.


The self-reported survey showed that most community pharmacist would 'always' gather most symptom-related information particularly about 'duration of symptoms,' 'frequency of symptoms,' and 'gestational age' and provide medication-related information on 'how to use the medication' and 'duration of use.' The highest mean practice scores were observed in relation to information gathering about 'gestational age' and information provision on 'how to use the medication.' In contrast, the lowest mean practice scores were observed in relation to information gathering about 'weight of the woman' and information provision on 'dosage form.'

However, the actual practice, as revealed by the simulated client visits, demonstrated that most community pharmacists would rarely gather symptom-related information nor provide medication-related information. In addition, dispensing of non-prescribed medications to pregnant women was also common. The extent of self-reported practice differed among subgroups of study participants.


This study highlights extent of practice of community pharmacy professionals during the management of minor symptoms in pregnancy in Ethiopia. Discrepancies of results between self-reported and actual practices of community pharmacy professionals were observed. The inadequate actual practice of symptom-related information gathering and medication-related information provisions needs considerations of implementing interventions to minimize potential harms.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Journal of Pharmaceutical Policy and Practice, v.15, p. 1-14
Publisher: BioMed Central Ltd
Place of Publication: United Kingdom
ISSN: 2052-3211
Fields of Research (FoR) 2020: 420305 Health and community services
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2020: 200509 Women's and maternal health
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
Appears in Collections:Journal Article
School of Health
School of Psychology

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