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A pharmacist-delivered smoking cessation program in Qatar: an exploration of pharmacists’ and patients’ perspectives of the program

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posted on 2022-11-22, 21:14 authored by Maguy Saffouh El Hajj, Saba Abdal Salam Sheikh Ali, Ahmed Awaisu, Rana Saleh, Nadir Kheir, Rula Shami

Background Tobacco use is one of the major causes of morbidity and mortality. An intensive pharmacist-delivered smoking cessation program was implemented in eight primary care pharmacies in Qatar. Objective This study aimed to qualitatively explore the perspectives of pharmacists and patients regarding their experiences in the program and their recommendations for improving it. Setting Primary care in Doha, Qatar. Method This study used a qualitative case study approach with semi-structured interviews of a sample of patients and pharmacists who participated in the program. Interviews were conducted between October 2016 and June 2017, were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim. A thematic approach for data analysis was used. Main outcome measures Perspectives of pharmacists and patients. Results Pharmacists who delivered the program (n = 17) and patients who completed the program’s outcomes assessment (n = 68) were invited through telephone call or email. Eight pharmacists and 22 patients were interviewed. Seven themes emerged: (1) both pharmacists and patients had positive experiences and both considered pharmacists as among the most suitable healthcare providers to provide smoking cessation interventions (2) both pharmacist and patient participants indicated that the program provided successful services (3) pharmacists identified several challenges for implementing the program including difficulty in motivating and in following-up patients, workplace barriers, communication and cultural barriers, (4) both pharmacists and patients perceived several barriers for quitting including lack of motivation to quit or to commit to the plan, high nicotine dependence, stress and personal problems (5) both pharmacists and patients considered several patient-related facilitators for quitting including development of smoking related complications, religious beliefs and external support; (6) use of smoking cessation medications was considered a program-related facilitator for quitting by patients whereas behavioral therapy was perceived to be a facilitator by pharmacists (7) pharmacists and patients proposed strategies for program improvement including enhancing pharmacist training and patient recruitment. Conclusion The program was perceived to be beneficial in helping patients quit smoking, and it positively contributed to advancing pharmacist role. The study findings can guide future development of successful pharmacist’ smoking cessation programs in Qatar.

Other Information

Published in: International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy
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  • English


Springer Science and Business Media LLC

Publication Year

  • 2021

Institution affiliated with

  • Qatar University

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