A qualitative focus on community pharmacists’ attitudes and barriers toward continuing professional development: implications for professional practice

Main Article Content

Rima A Hijazen https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9919-2297
Ahmad A. Hammad https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6497-4742
Jakub N. Khzouz
Eman A. Hammad https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2059-6473
Angel R. Swaiss https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2800-0267

Keywords

Continuing professional development, Continuing education, Community pharmacist, Qualitative, Focus group

Abstract

Background: Continuing professional development and continuing education are important components of professional practice for pharmacists. Mandatory continuing professional development requirements have been introduced in several countries, including Jordan. However, information on the uptake of continuing professional development is lacking, particularly in the Jordanian context. Objective: This study’s principal aim was to investigate community pharmacists’ views of continuing professional development and to explore pharmacists’ perceptions of the most common facilitators and barriers to participation in continuing education. Methods: A series of seven focus group sessions were undertaken with groups of four to seven community pharmacists. Focus group transcripts were thematically analyzed using a qualitative data analysis method. Results: The study included 34 pharmacists out of 95 who received invitation letters. Four key themes were identified: (1) community pharmacists’ attitudes toward continuing professional development; (2) perceived motivating factors for continuing professional development; (3) experienced barriers to continuing professional development; (4) and potential strategies for improving pharmacists’ continuing professional development. In terms of attitudes, participants generally understood the concept of continuing professional development. Motivating factors were mainly attributed to personal, work-related, and service provision-related factors. However, experienced barriers that could prevent community pharmacists from participating in continuing professional development despite their motivation were: barriers pertaining to workload, barriers pertaining to pharmacists, and barriers related to lack of resources. Conclusion: Practicing pharmacists need support now, and changes to undergraduate education are warranted to keep abreast of current developments and changes to practice. Despite limitations, the distinctive nature of this study would have a valuable contribution to the field of professional development. It can inform theory, policy, and practice relating to pharmacists’ continuing professional development at both a professional level and governmentally, helping the relevant parties make informed decisions

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