Perspectives of the community in the developing countries toward telemedicine and pharmaceutical care during the COVID-19 pandemic

Main Article Content

Keywords

Telemedicine, Pharmaceutical Care, Developing countries, COVID-19

Abstract

Background: Pharmaceutical care (PC) services have expanded in recent years, resulting in improved patient outcomes. However, such PC services are currently available for free in the majority of Arabic countries. During the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, telemedicine is especially beneficial since it allows for continuity of care while allowing for social distancing and minimizing the risk of infection. Objective: To assess the community’s attitude, opinion, and willingness to pay for telemedicine and PC services during COVID-19 pandemic, as well as to create a website provision for telemedicine and PC services. Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted, over five months (December 2020– April 2021), among the general population in Arabic countries, excluding pharmacists, physicians, and pharmacy students. Results: A total of 1717 participants were involved, most of them were from Jordan (52.2%) and Iraq (24.8%). Sixty two percent of participants seek pharmacists’ advice whenever they have any medication changes and 45.1% of the participants agreed with the idea of paying pharmacists to decrease medication errors. Interestingly, 89.5% of participants encouraged the idea of creating a website that provides a PC, and 35.5% of them would pay for it. The failure to document the medical information of the patients had most applicants’ agreement as a reason of medical errors (M=4.17/5, SD=0.787). More than three-quarters of participants agreed that creating a database containing the patients’ medical information will reduce medical errors. Conclusion: From a patients’ perspective, this study suggests a large patient need for expanding PC services in Arabic countries and introduces a direct estimate of the monetary value for the PC services to contribute to higher savings. The majority of participants supported the idea of creating a website provision of telemedicine and PC services, and a considerable proportion of them agreed to pay for it.

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