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Sumia Sir Elkhatim Mohamed* and Dalia Ahmed Osman Ballal


Background: Providing cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) risk factor screening services is one way in which pharmacists can make a major contribution to improving patients' quality of life. Objectives: To investigate the awareness and attitude of community pharmacists towards CVDs screening services and explore barriers for implementation. Settings: Community pharmacies in Khartoum state. Methods: A non-interventional, descriptive, cross sectional study was conducted in a 190 community pharmacies using a pre-tested, selfadministered questionnaire and a stratified, systematic random sampling procedure. Main outcome measures: Awareness and attitude of community pharmacists about CVDs screening services. Results: Response rate was 91%. Screening services were least recognized as part of pharmaceutical care services. The majority of participants agreed that screening services are important and claimed that they are useful for prevention of complications and early detection of diseases, and are offered for symptomatic patients. Hypertension and hyperlipidemia were highly rated, compared to diabetes and hyperthyroidism, as CVDs risk factors. Nevertheless, 78% of participants are willing to provide screening services, especially for hypertension and diabetes. Barriers included lack of knowledge, training, resources and time. Other barriers reported by participants are lack of customers‟ concern, interest and their refusal to such services, disapproval of pharmacy owners, the extensive burden of the service on the pharmacy and their contractual framework which does not include such services, in addition, neither the time, assistance, private areas nor incentives are available. Conclusion: The awareness and willingness of screening services was fair, however, the current practice of such services for primary prevention of CVDs is poor, constrained by many barriers and needs fundamental development.

Keywords: Pharmaceutical care, community pharmacy, screening services, cardiovascular diseases, risk assessment.

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