The evolving role of pharmacists in providing pharmaceutical care, as part of the healthcare team, challenges them to acquire up-to-date knowledge of medicines to make the best clinical decisions. The volume of medical literature is on the increase, and it is important to utilise these resources to optimise patients’ therapeutic outcomes. This study aimed at assessing the readiness of government hospital pharmacists in practising evidence-based medicine (EBM) in Kuwait in regards to their attitude, knowledge and skills, as well as the perceived barriers and facilitators.
This descriptive cross-sectional study used pre-tested self-reported questionnaires to collect information from pharmacists working at government hospitals in Kuwait. In addition, one-to-one, face-to-face semi-structured interviews were conducted with the chief pharmacists of all health regions in Kuwait to discuss and identify the barriers and facilitators of implementing EBM in the hospitals. Quantitative and qualitative analytical measures were undertaken for the data acquired from the questionnaires and interviews, respectively.
A total of 176 pharmacists (of 445) working in secondary and tertiary government hospitals in Kuwait agreed to take part in the study, giving a response rate of 40%. Over half of the study sample (n = 94, 53.4%) had good confidence in performing online database searches. Approximately 50% of the pharmacists were familiar with searching the Internet for medical resources, asking answerable clinical questions and retrieving research evidence. However, 67% of the pharmacists (n = 118) were neither able to apply research evidence to patient care nor capable of identifying knowledge gaps in practice. Barriers to EBM practice were identified, which included limited access to EBM resources (75%), a lack of time and patient overload (71.6%). The interview results confirmed the willingness of the hospital pharmacists to adopt EBM in their practice if necessary resources such as computers and internet connection were provided.
The hospital pharmacists in Kuwait showed good attitude and willingness towards EBM, however, they need to acquire adequate knowledge and skills for applying it in “real life” practise. Using the current results, clinical implications were recommended to demonstrate how to overcome the barriers, wherein hospital pharmacists could be ready to practice EBM.