An Examination of the Factors Affecting Community Pharmacists' Knowledge, Attitudes, and Impressions About the COVID-19 Pandemic

Turk J Pharm Sci. 2021 Oct 28;18(5):530-540. doi: 10.4274/tjps.galenos.2020.01212.


Objectives: Coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19)-related cases and deaths are ongoing throughout the world, but there is still no effective drug in its treatment, and the vaccine supply is not adequate for the global population. It is important that pharmacists have sufficient knowledge and awareness to prevent and control the disease. COVID-19 has been widely covered in the media, which has been a source widely used by healthcare professionals. This study aimed to assess the knowledge, attitudes, and impressions of community pharmacists about COVID-19 and the factors affecting them.

Materials and methods: The questions in this survey were formed using the guideline created by the World Health Organization, a guide composed by the Turkish COVID-19 Scholarly Commission, and data disclosed to the public on the website of the Ministry of Health. The questionnaire was designed with Google forms and then applied to community pharmacists all over Turkey by sharing the survey link.

Results: Analyses of 393 questionnaires showed that Ministry of Health/government statements, the internet (scientific sources), and the media were the preferred sources of information (96.7%, 89.6%, and 84%, respectively). “Ways to avoid COVID-19” was the most searched title (96.9%). It was determined that the names of the two drugs most frequently mentioned by the participants to be used in the treatment of COVID-19 in Turkey were hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin (57.5%; 50.1%, respectively). Participants who received information from the media gave less education to patients/customers on personal protection measures against COVID-19 (83.3%) and symptoms of COVID-19 (78.8%); however, their behavior regarding the training of pharmacy personnel was found to be the opposite. It has been determined that about half of the participants (46.6%) mostly trust the Ministry of Health regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.

Conclusion: Media and other sources influence the knowledge, behavior and impressions of pharmacists’. Having a high level of knowledge positively affects people’s behavior. It is important for pharmacists to have accurate information about COVID-19 and to transfer their knowledge to the community to provide patient education and to prevent/control the spread of COVID-19.

Keywords: COVID-19; attitude; community pharmacists; knowledge; pandemic.