Pharmacy students’ readiness and preparedness to contribute during disasters: a cross-sectional two institutional study from the UAE

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Alaa Farajalla
Muaed Alomar
Subish Palaian
Mohammad Majed Al-Ahmad
Mohamed Izham Mohamed Ibrahim


disaster management, pharmacy student knowledge, , pharmacy student attitude, pharmacy student readiness, pharmacists


Background: Pharmacists involvement in disaster management has been acknowledged in the literature for their involvement in various clinical and non-clinical services. Future pharmacists are expected to be skill full in handling medicine disasters. This study aimed at investigating the knowledge, attitude, and readiness of pharmacy students to contribute to disasters in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Methods: A quantitative, descriptive, crosssectional study was conducted in two pharmacy colleges in the UAE using a pre-validated electronic questionnaire. Data were collected using simple random sampling from February 2021 to November 2021. The questionnaire consisted of five sections: demographic information, knowledge, attitude, and readiness to practice with perceived barriers. The Likert data were not normally distributed (Shapiro-Wilk test, p<0.05) and hence analyzed using the Mann-Whitney U test and Kruskal Wallis test at alpha=0.05. Results: A total of 258 pharmacy students were surveyed. The majority were fourthyear students (51.2%, n = 132) with a mean (SD) age of 20.46 [2.35] years. The average score for total knowledge was 155.3 (60.2%), with no statistical differences between groups. The median interquartile range (IQR) scores for total attitude, total readiness to practice, and barriers to disaster medicine were 4. Conclusions: Students exhibited varying levels of knowledge and expressed a positive attitude and willingness to practice disaster medicine. Inclusion of various educational modules in pharmacy curricula could help to better prepare students for the practice of disaster medicine.

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