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Community pharmacists' knowledge, attitudes, and practices regarding counselling on vitamins and dietary supplements in Malaysia: A study on complementary medicines

Rosamund Koo Wei Xin, Tan Wai Yee, Wong Zi Qin, Lau Kaiyee, Ali Haider Mohammed, Ali Blebil Orcid Logo, Juman Al-Dujaili Orcid Logo, Bassam Abdulrasool Hassan, Angelina Lim

Exploratory Research in Clinical and Social Pharmacy, Volume: 13, Start page: 100410

Swansea University Authors: Ali Blebil Orcid Logo, Juman Al-Dujaili Orcid Logo

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Abstract

BackgroundThe utilization of vitamins and dietary supplements (DSs) among consumers in Malaysia has seen a notable increase. However, there is limited research available on how pharmacists in Eastern countries manage the provision of these products.ObjectiveThis study aims to assess the knowledge, a...

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Published in: Exploratory Research in Clinical and Social Pharmacy
ISSN: 2667-2766
Published: Elsevier BV 2024
Online Access: Check full text

URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa66840
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Abstract: BackgroundThe utilization of vitamins and dietary supplements (DSs) among consumers in Malaysia has seen a notable increase. However, there is limited research available on how pharmacists in Eastern countries manage the provision of these products.ObjectiveThis study aims to assess the knowledge, attitudes, and practices of community pharmacists in Malaysia regarding the provision of counselling services on vitamins and DSs. The findings will inform education strategies in this area.MethodsA cross-sectional quantitative study was conducted from February to April 2022 using a validated online-based questionnaire. The survey was distributed to community pharmacists across Malaysia through social media channels. t-test and ANOVA test were used for data analysis.ResultsAmong the 260 participants, 73.5% were categorized as having average product knowledge. Key concerns included a lack of knowledge about the indications of new products and when to discontinue their use. Regarding dosing in specific patient groups, 33.5% of pharmacists only occasionally consulted references and primarily relied on product labels. Furthermore, 29% of pharmacists believed it was unnecessary to refer patients to doctors when they experienced ongoing symptoms while taking vitamins or DSs. Interestingly, 44.6% of pharmacists believed there was a correlation between the efficacy of vitamins and their price, often recommending more expensive brands despite similar content.ConclusionThere is an opportunity to enhance the knowledge of pharmacists in Malaysia regarding vitamins and DSs. Education interventions should focus on areas such as dosing for specific patient groups, when to discontinue products, understanding new products, evidence-based efficacy of products for specific conditions, and providing a framework for appropriate referral to support pharmacists in their practice.
Keywords: Vitamins; Dietary supplements; Pharmacy; Community; Complementary and alternative medicines
College: Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences
Funders: There was no funding for this work.
Start Page: 100410