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Explorative research of health literacy and self-care management among type 2 diabetes mellitus patients: pharmacists\’ perspectives

  • At: PPR SIG 2021 (2021)
  • Type: Digital
  • By: AHMAD AZHARI, Azrina Ely (School of Pharmacy, University of Nottingham Malaysia, Malaysia)
  • Co-author(s): Azrina Ely Ahmad Azhari Dr Jim Chai Prof Claire Anderson
  • Abstract:


    Pharmacists play a major role in patient education especially on medication adherence as well as diabetes self-care as they are easily accessible to the public. Lack of knowledge on diabetes and self-care among patients has contributed to the development of diabetes complications. The accessibility of pharmacy services to the public helps diabetes patients with health literacy challenges getting advice and support they needed in empowering self-care behaviours.


    This qualitative study explored Malaysians pharmacists’ perspectives on how they interact and communicate with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes and pre-diabetes patients to promote self-care behaviours, and how they can contribute to preventing or delaying disease progression.


    Nine pharmacists who are working in community pharmacies, hospitals and government health clinics were recruited through purposive sampling. Three pharmacists attended a focus group discussion and six pharmacists were interviewed using semi-structured interview. All interviews and focus group discussion were conducted virtually, audio-recorded, and transcribed verbatim. The data obtained were coded and categorised into themes using thematic analysis.


    The key themes identified in this study were 1) assessing patients’ health literacy, 2) challenges to effective counselling, 3) approaches to empower self-care and 4) roles of pharmacist in diabetes self-care. Currently, there is no standardised assessment tool available in Malaysia to assess patients’ health literacy. As for now, most pharmacists use their own judgement to assess patients’ health literacy and they believed that understanding patients’ enablers of and barriers to diabetes self-care could help them in conducting a more effective counselling.


    With the accessibility of pharmacists especially in the community to the public, they could be the big players in self-care education. There is a need to educate pharmacists about health literacy and to enhance communication strategies used for patients with different levels of health literacy skills.

Last update 4 October 2019

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