Date of Award
Master of Science (M.S.)
John K. Brown
First Committee Member
Warren J. Schneider
Second Committee Member
Third Committee Member
Patrick N. Catania
Saudi Arabia, one of the developing countries, has a number of problems with the health care and medical treatment of the Saudi people. This study was undertaken to identify and to examine some of these problems and the role of the pharmacist in health education.
A questionnaire was developed and sent to 200 Saudi students in the United States; 111 completed questionnaires were returned. The questionnaire was also sent to Saudi Arabia where 51 persons were interviewed. Results of the questionnaire indicated that some of the problems identified were due to the attitudes of the person interviewed and others resulted from the quality of pharmaceutical services which were provided. Some patients in Saudi Arabia want a "cure" from the first contact with the physician; some do not want to use the medications for a long period of time, for example, those who are undergoing treatment for chronic diseases. Some go to more than one physician and may receive prescriptions for two or more drugs. Others may discontinue the drug and not return to the physician. Some may obtain their medications without a prescription and others may use the medication(s) prescribed for other persons. Generally, it was determined that the services provided by the pharmacist were not what the patient expected and wanted. Also poor communication between the patient and the pharmacist was identified. Language problems were the usual cause cited.
These problems may lead to treatment failure and/or an increase in the incidence of adverse drug reactions or drug-drug interactions.
Recommendations were developed in an attempt to alleviate some of these problems. These recommendations include the requirement that each hospital keep a medical record for each patient, and also that a medication record for each patient be kept in the pharmacy to avoid the duplication of medications (prescriptions). The law or regulations which restricts the availability of medicines without a prescription from any pharmacy inside the hospitals or from market pharmacies should be adhered to and enforced by the pharmacists.
Appointments for outpatients should be made to reduce the crowds of people at the doctor's office or at the pharmacy windows. This will encourage good communication and allow more time for the physician, pharmacist and the patient to discuss the disease and treatment. To overcome poor communications due to the language barrier, it is important that only those physicians and pharmacists who can speak the Arabic language work in the outpatient departments.
Encouragement of patient participation in his treatment can be provided by enhancing health education in the media such as in newspapers and on radio and television programs. The pharmacist should play a role in solving these problems by monitoring drug therapy.
The appendix contains a proposal which specifies the types of information which should be provided to Saudi patients regarding their prescribed medications. The diseases included in the appendix were selected as examples because they are rather common in Saudi Arabia.
Al Haidari, Mohammed H.. (1982). The role of the pharmacist in health care and medical treatment in Saudi Arabia as perceived by the patient. University of the Pacific, Thesis. https://scholarlycommons.pacific.edu/uop_etds/460
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