RESEARCH ARTICLE: An assessment of oncology pharmacy educational needs among community pharmacists in Zimbabwe
Keywords:Advanced practice, Continuous professional development, Oncology pharmacy, Pharmacy education
Background: Oncology pharmacy is a specialty that is central to provision and use of anti-cancer medications. In Zimbabwe, pharmacists rely on a Bachelor of Pharmacy degree (B.Pharm.) and in-house training in the provision of oncology services. This study sought to assess knowledge, perceptions, current practices and prior education in oncology pharmacy among community pharmacists.
Methods: A cross-sectional survey was carried out among pharmacists working in community pharmacies in Harare.
Results: A response rate of 93.0% was achieved. The mean knowledge score was 4.0%. Up to 96.8% of pharmacists thought that prior training in oncology was inadequate. Only ten pharmacists in the sample actually dispensed chemotherapy regularly. Of these, none comprehensive measures for the safe handling of hazardous drugs.
Conclusion: A B.Pharm. degree does not provide pharmacists with adequate scientific knowledge and competencies required for the provision of oncology pharmacy services. Structured educational programmes for pharmacists in oncology should be implemented.
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