American Journal of Pharmacology and Toxicology

Community Pharmacists’ Involvement in Breast Cancer Health Promotion in United Arab Emirates (UAE)

Osama H. Mohamed Ibrahim and Rana M. Ibrahim

DOI : 10.3844/ajptsp.2013.155.163

American Journal of Pharmacology and Toxicology

Volume 8, 2013

Pages 155-163

Abstract

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in Middle East countries. Despite the continuous efforts to increase the public awareness of breast cancer via campaigns and public screening programs, breast cancer screening rate remains low. The participation of community pharmacists in the communication and dissemination of breast cancer screening information should have a significant positive impact. The objectives of this study were to assess the degree of community pharmacists’ participation in breast cancer health promotion activities in United Arab Emirates (UAE), to evaluate their attitudes towards the involvement in breast cancer health promotion and receiving breast cancer continuous education. The study objectives were addressed in a cross-sectional survey distributed to community pharmacists in Sharjah, Dubai and Ajman Emirates (UAE). The survey measured the extent of community pharmacists’ participation in breast cancer health promotion activities, their interest and comfort in providing breast cancer health promotion, and their perceived barriers for integrating breast cancer health promotion activities into their daily practice. Over a 24-week period, we collected 275 surveys out of 335 pharmacists approached (82% response rate). Ninety-six percent indicated that they never invited healthcare professionals to provide breast cancer education in the pharmacy, 67% said that they never distributed breast cancer educational materials and 47% reported that they never counseled patients about breast cancer. Nevertheless, more than 75% were highly interested in being engaged in breast cancer health promotion activities. In addition, 87% believed that discussing breast cancer awareness with female patients in the pharmacy was beneficial to patients. Yet pharmacists perceived many barriers for integrating breast cancer health promotion into their daily practice including lack of educational materials (87%) and lack of enough time (74%). Moreover, their breast cancer knowledge mean score was 51% with 87% expressing a high interest in receiving breast cancer continuous education. Despite their low participation in breast cancer health promotion, the mainstream of pharmacists was interested in educating patients about breast cancer. However, low breast cancer knowledge and other barriers can prevent actualizing this role.

Copyright

© 2013 Osama H. Mohamed Ibrahim and Rana M. Ibrahim. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.