Sercan AVCI Faculty of Pharmacy, Near East University, Nicosia, Northern Cyprus TR-10 Mersin, TURKEY
Abdikarim Mohamed ABDI Faculty of Pharmacy, Yeditepe University, Kayışdağı, İnönü Mahallesi, Kayışdağı Cd., 34755 Ataşehir/İstanbul, Türkiye
Meryem Deniz AYDIN Faculty of Pharmacy, Near East University, Nicosia, Northern Cyprus TR-10 Mersin, TURKEY
Background: Acne vulgaris is a common dermatological condition that necessitates effective management in primary care settings. However, there is a need to improve adherence to evidence-based guidelines among healthcare professionals, particularly community pharmacists, who play a crucial role in acne management. Aim: This study aimed to assess the management of acne vulgaris by dermatologists and community pharmacists in North Cyprus, evaluate their adherence to the BAD (British Association of Dermatologists) guidelines for acne management in primary care, and investigate the psychological impact of a pharmacist-led educational intervention on improving pharmacist knowledge and practices. Methods: This study employed a cross-sectional questionnaire-based approach to investigate the beliefs, perceptions, knowledge, and psychological and counselling practices of healthcare professionals regarding the treatment of acne vulgaris (AV) in North Cyprus. Pharmacist-led educational intervention, based on the guidelines provided by the British Association of Dermatologists (BAD), was implemented for 91 community pharmacists. The intervention comprised educational workshops, distribution of informational materials, and interactive case-based discussions. Convenience sampling was utilized to select participants for this study. Parametric and non-parametric tests were employed to analyse the collected data, with statistical significance set at P < 0.05. Results: A total of 267 community pharmacists (out of 355 pharmacists) and 17 dermatologists (out of 18) participated in separate surveys. The survey results revealed variations in practices and beliefs among dermatologists and community pharmacists regarding acne vulgaris treatment. While some healthcare professionals demonstrated adherence to the BAD guidelines, most of the others exhibited deviations or knowledge gaps. Dermatologists generally employed a multifaceted approach, including topical and systemic therapies, consistent with the guidelines. However, community pharmacists often recommended over-the-counter products without a comprehensive assessment. Following the pharmacist-led educational and psychological intervention, significant improvements were observed in the knowledge and practices, psychological impact of community pharmacists, resulting in enhanced adherence to the BAD guidelines and provision of comprehensive care. Conclusion: This study highlights the existing variations and knowledge gaps among community pharmacists regarding the management of acne vulgaris in primary care settings in North Cyprus. The findings underscore the importance of improving adherence to evidence-based guidelines, such as the BAD guidelines, among healthcare professionals. The pharmacist-led educational and psychological intervention based on the BAD guidelines demonstrated its effectiveness in improving knowledge and practices among community pharmacists, emphasizing the significance of ongoing professional development. Further research is warranted to assess the long-term impact of such interventions and explore strategies for inter-professional collaboration in acne vulgaris management in primary care.
Keywords:Acne Vulgaris, Dermatologists, Community Pharmacists, Psychological Impact, Educational Intervention