The Impact of an Educational Intervention on the Skill of Community Pharmacists in the Use of a Pressurized Metered-dose Inhaler: A Covert Simulated Patient Approach in Pakistan
Introduction: Metered-dose inhalers are the most widely prescribed and dispensed inhaler devices worldwide for the management of asthma. The present study aimed to access the impact of educational intervention on the competency of community pharmacists of Islamabad, Pakistan regarding the pressurized metered-dose inhaler (MDI) technique. Materials and Methods: The intervention involved educating pharmacists practically through placebo inhalers and theoretically through literature brochures; based upon the “National Asthma Education and Preventive Program” inhaler technique. A total of 100 pharmacists were recruited from the rural and urban sectors of Islamabad. A covert simulated patient approach was used to evaluate the inhaler technique of pharmacists. Type of pharmacy, education status of pharmacists and the influence of already received training on the use of inhaler devices were the factors that demonstrated a significant positive association with the competency of pharmacists. Results: McNemar test was applied for pre and post-intervention intragroup comparisons to further access categorical variables. A p-values <0.05 were considered statistically significant. The competency of pharmacists increased significantly from 24% before intervention to 33% after intervention (p<0.001). Conclusion: Originally, the inhaler technique competency of the majority of pharmacy professionals was observed to be inappropriate. However, the educational intervention proved to be effective in substantially enhancing the skill of community pharmacists regarding the MDI technique.