COVID-19 infected patients’ experiences in Syria, and the role of the pharmacists during their infection

Main Article Content

Keywords

Coronavirus, COVID-19, Pandemics, Pharmacists, Patient experience, Syria

Abstract

Background: Patients infected with coronavirus have new experiences and hence new needs from the healthcare sector. Acknowledging patients’ experiences can exhibit promising outcomes in coronavirus management. Pharmacists are considered a vital pillar in managing patients’ experiences during their infection. Objective: To assess the experience of individuals who have been infected with coronavirus and the roles played by pharmacists to meet their new needs. Methods: This descriptive cross-sectional survey was developed based on previous literature, validated, and conducted in Syria. The survey included items related to participants’ COVID-19 experiences, and items concerning the roles played by pharmacists when participants were infected. Items were tested for face validity. Data collection was conducted in May and June 2021. Data was analyzed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS). Results: The study participants (n=576) had a mean age of 37.99 years. Fatigue was the most reported symptom by the participants. Vitamin C was the most used supplement (76.4%), and 66.5% of the participants used herbs during their infection. More than 60.0% of the participants stated that their anxiety and stress levels increased during their infection. Around 40.0% of the participants needed to visit a specialist doctor. Only 5.4% needed to use an artificial respiration apparatus. The mean of the participants’ infection severity was 4.97 (SD=2.30) out of 10. The severity of the infection was significantly affected by being older, female, smoking, and having a chronic condition. Doctors followed by pharmacists were the healthcare providers who advised participants to take certain medications/herbs. More than one-third of the participants strongly agreed/agreed that the pharmacist played important and effective roles during their infection. Conclusion: Patients’ experiences indicated that fatigue was the most reported symptom by the participants diagnosed with coronavirus infection, while vitamin C was the most used supplement. Pharmacists have a major role in helping participants manage their infection and are considered a vital pillar in patients’ experiences since they provided patients with the needed medications.

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