Australian hospital pharmacists' attitudes, perceptions, knowledge and practices of CAMs

Braun, L and Cohen, M 2007, 'Australian hospital pharmacists' attitudes, perceptions, knowledge and practices of CAMs', Journal of Pharmacy Practice and Research, vol. 37, no. 3, pp. 220-223.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Australian hospital pharmacists' attitudes, perceptions, knowledge and practices of CAMs
Author(s) Braun, L
Cohen, M
Year 2007
Journal name Journal of Pharmacy Practice and Research
Volume number 37
Issue number 3
Start page 220
End page 223
Total pages 4
Publisher Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia
Abstract Background: Although evidence suggests that some complementary and alternative medicines (CAMs) are beneficial they can also cause adverse effects. Hospital pharmacists are responsible for ensuring patient safety and wellbeing yet little is known about their perceptions, knowledge and practices of CAMs. Aim: To explore hospital pharmacists' attitudes, perceptions, knowledge and practices of CAMs. Method: An anonymous, self-administered questionnaire was distributed to pharmacists at four hospitals in Melbourne. Results: 107 completed surveys were received (76% response). 87% of pharmacists thought CAMs were unsafe and required monitoring yet 45% did not routinely ask patients about CAM use. 74% thought they had insufficient knowledge to identify when CAMs could affect patient safety and 88% thought CAMs needed more hospital-based research. Pharmacists were cautious about CAMs and concerned about safety, efficacy, cost and regulatory issues. 62% had received training about CAMs, and 83% were interested in further training. A mean score of 39.9% (SD 19.9) was obtained in the knowledge section. Several complementary therapies were considered useful, notably acupuncture. Conclusion: Hospital pharmacists are responsible for the safe and appropriate use of medicines however this does not routinely extend to the use of CAMs. Despite receiving some education about CAMs, a lack of confidence and knowledge was identified. Clear guidelines and education is needed to improve communication about CAMs and optimise patient care. Hospital pharmacists have concerns about CAMs and would support further hospital-based research.
Keyword(s) Complementary medicine
ISSN 1445-937X
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