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Background: The expanded responsibilities of pharmacists have created friction with other health professionals. This study sought to assess the perceptions of the roles and impact of clinical pharmacists by students in health-related disciplines in a Nigerian university.
Methods: This was a cross-sectional survey of fifinal year students in eight health-related disciplines in the University of Nigeria Nsukka. Data were collected with a 37-item structured self-administered questionnaire and analyzed using the IBM SPSS Version 25. Pearson's Chi-Square tested the association between variables while multiple linear regression determined the predictors. Statistical signifificance was set as P< 0.05.
Results: Of the 790 eligible students, 463 participated. Three-fififths of the respondents had previously done Students Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES)/Industrial Training (IT) in a hospital (n = 283, 61.1%). More than half of the respondents agreed that clinical pharmacists should participate in ward rounds (n = 326, 70.4%). Less than half of them (n = 184, 39.7%) agreed that clinical pharmacists should manage patients with chronic diseases. Majority of the students (n = 451, 97.4%) agreed that clinical pharmacists are necessary to the healthcare system. Overall, less than half of the respondents had a positive perception of the roles (n = 200, 43.2%) and impact (n = 195, 42.1%) of clinical pharmacists. Being in a department other than pharmacy signifificantly predicted a decrease in the positive perception of the roles (B = -4.187, P < 0.001) and impact (B = -0.826, P < 0.001) of clinical pharmacists. Having a pharmacist as an immediate family member increased the positive perception of the roles of clinical pharmacists (B = 0.889, P= 0.005). Undergoing SIWES/ITin a hospital (B = 0.598, P < 0.001) signifificantly predicted an increase in the positive perception of the impact of clinical pharmacists.
Conclusion: Less than half of the respondents had a positive perception of the roles/impact of clinical pharmacists. Interprofessional education should be encouraged.
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