Archive \ Volume.9 2018 Issue 4

Exploration of Healthcare Practitioner’s Perception Regarding Pharmacist’s Role in Cancer Palliative Care, Malaysia

Ahlam Sundus , Nahlah Elkudssiah Ismail , Shubashini Gnanasan

Introduction: Despite steps taken to increase awareness about cancer, the burden of cancer is increasing at tremendous rate worldwide. Since the patient care evolved from disease-oriented to the patient-oriented approach, the role of pharmacist was extended to introduce them in patient-care team. However, the role of the pharmacists is not generalized around the world. In various developing countries, steps are being taken to improvise patient-care through the participation of the pharmacists at ward levels but the progress is still slow. It is expected that some healthcare professionals and the patients haven’t fully embraced the idea of integration of the pharmacist in the patient-care team. This study was conducted to explore the perception of healthcare professionals working in the cancer palliative care settings within Malaysia regarding the integration of the pharmacists within the cancer palliative care team. Material and methods: A qualitative exploratory study was designed to interview doctors, nurses, pharmacist, patients and their caregivers at the selected study sites. The interviews were audio-taped and transcribed verbatim which were then subjected to thematic analysis. Results: Healthcare professionals responded positively regarding the integration of the pharmacists in cancer palliative care team. They believed that the pharmacists possess remarkable knowledge and skills with respect to drugs and drug related problems. However, pharmacists complained that the quality of their work is affected due to inadequate representation of the pharmacists in the wards. Conclusion: Findings of the study suggested that both doctors and nurses are willing to welcome the pharmacists within the wards to constitute a triad for the improvement of patient-care within cancer palliative care. However, policies are yet to be designed to incorporate pharmacists as a permanent member of the cancer palliative care team.