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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 64-71

Community pharmacist’s role in providing oral health-care services: Findings from Malaysia


1 School of Pharmacy, Monash University Malaysia, Selangor, Malaysia
2 College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, University of Science and Technology of Fujairah, Fujairah, United Arab Emirates
3 Clinical Pharmacy Department, Institute of Pharmaceutical Science, University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Lahore, Pakistan

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Ali Blebil
School of Pharmacy, Monash University Malaysia, Selangor
Malaysia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jpbs.JPBS_152_19

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Introduction: Pharmacists have been well recognized as an active and have a more integrated role in the preventive services within the National Health Services. This study assessed the community pharmacists’ attitudes, beliefs, and practices toward oral health in the Malaysian setting. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional survey-based study was used to conduct this project. An anonymous self-administered questionnaire was developed and distributed among community pharmacists within Kuala Lumpur and Selangor states areas, Malaysia. The data collection was carried out from the beginning of November to the end of December 2018. Results: Of the 255 pharmacists, 206 agreed to participate in the study, yielding a response rate of 80.8%. Overall, approximately half of the pharmacists provided two to five oral health consultations per week and two to five over the counter (OTC) oral health products recommendations per week. The main services provided by community pharmacists in were the provision of OTC treatments (93.7%), referral of consumers to dental or medical practitioners when appropriate (82.5%), and identify signs and symptoms of oral health problems in patients (77.2%). In addition, more than 80% of the pharmacists viewed positively and supported integrating oral health promotion and preventive measures into their practices. The most commonly reported barriers to extending the roles of pharmacists in oral health care include lack of knowledge or training in this field, lack of training resources, and lack of oral health educational promotion materials. Conclusion: The study shows that community pharmacists had been providing a certain level of oral health services and play an important role in oral health. The findings highlighted the need of an interprofessional partnership between the pharmacy professional bodies with Malaysian dental associations to develop, and evaluate evidence-based resources, guidelines, the scope of oral health in pharmacy curricula and services to deliver improved oral health care within Malaysian communities.


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