Pharmacists’ perception of evidence-based practice and experience in over-the-counter counseling: A cross-sectional study in Japan

Main Article Content

Nanako Uchiyama https://orcid.org/0009-0001-9377-5627
Masaki Shoji https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0688-1748
Mitsuko Onda https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5855-2727

Keywords

community pharmacy, evidence-based practice, over-the-counter drugs, counseling, Japan

Abstract

Background: Evidence-based practice (EBP) is essential for pharmacists to select and recommend over-the-counter (OTC) drugs in medical consultations (hereinafter referred to as OTC counseling). Objectives: This study examined the association between pharmacists’ perceptions of EBPs and their implementation of OTC counseling. Methods: A web-based survey was conducted. Questions regarding pharmacists’ perceptions of EBP and experience in OTC counseling were set, and respondents were asked to respond based on a 5-point scale ranging from 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree). The association between pharmacists’ perceptions of EBP and experience in OTC counseling was examined by calculating Spearman’s ρ using bivariate correlation analysis. Results: Responses were obtained from 250 pharmacists. Although 70% of respondents indicated that EBP improves service quality, only 39, 31, and 14% had knowledge of the EBP steps, conducted a literature search, and performed a critical appraisal, respectively. Regarding OTC counseling experience, only 31% of respondents indicated that “sufficient evidence information on OTC drugs has been obtained.” Over 60% of respondents expressed the need for OTC usage guidelines and support tools and revealed that brand-specific purchases of OTC drugs make EBP difficult. An association was observed between pharmacists’ perceptions of EBP and experience in OTC counseling. “Level of recognition of steps for practicing evidence-based medicine” was associated with the “need fulfillment level for evidence information” (ρ = 0.329, P < 0.001), “brand-specific purchases of OTC drugs” (ρ = 0.240, P < 0.001), “perception of product advertisement” (ρ = 0.227, P < 0.001), and “need for OTC guidelines” (ρ = 0.208, P < 0.001). Conclusions: Pharmacists’ perceptions of EBP were associated with their experience in OTC counseling

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