PERCEPTIONS, CONCERNS AND PRACTICES OF COMMUNITY PHARMACISTS REGARDING COVID-19
Abstract Background: COVID-19 is thought to be one of the serious public health hazard to date. Community pharmacists are one of the first line health care workers working hard during this pandemic, and their role is critical in preventing COVID-19 spread. Objective: This study aims to assess perception and practice of community pharmacists in Palestine towards COVID-19 pandemic and to evaluate the concern and worries of community pharmacists from COVID-19. Methods: A cross-sectional survey has been performed in community pharmacy in West Bank. The study was done from the 1st of February to the end of April 2021. A total of 314 respondents were selected by complex randomized method. The self-administered questionnaire was used for data collection. All ethical consideration were considered. Results: The results showed that 18.2% of the participants have a high-level of knowledge about COVID-19, while 69.1% have moderate level of knowledge and 12.7% have a low level of knowledge. The result showed that 87.3% of the participants have a high-level of practice related to COVID-19, while 12.7% have a low level of practice. The result showed that 30.3% of the participants had a high anxiety level while 41.4% had a moderate level of anxiety and 28.3% had a low level of anxiety. The logistic regression showed that gender affected knowledge and gender female is a risk factor. Regarding the practice, Health status affected practice, pharmacist who have a disease that increases the risk of contracting the virus were more likely to have good practice, by same away, gender female, age more than 60, the pattern of working in the morning and evening shift, address of work (central), health status (who have a disease that increases the risk of contracting the virus) and who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 is factors affected on anxiety (P<0.05). Conclusion: Our finding revealed a satisfactory perception and practice of community pharmacist towards COVID-19. But there are high levels of concern present among Palestinian community pharmacist toward COVID-19. Keywords: COVID-19, Perception, Practice, Concern, worry, Community pharmacist.