Engaging community pharmacists in tuberculosis-directly observed treatment: A mixed-methods study

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Aim: This study aimed to evaluate the feasibility of implementing community pharmacy-based tuberculosis-directly observed treatment (TB-DOT) in Malaysia. Background: Tuberculosis (TB) eradication is one of the top priorities in the public health agenda in Malaysia. While public-private mix (PPM) initiatives have been launched, community pharmacists remain undervalued assets in TB management. Methods: A two-phase mixed-methods study targeting community pharmacists was conducted in Malaysia between March and October 2021. The first phase was an online self-administered survey developed according to the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (CFIR). The second phase was a semi-structured interview to allow deeper understanding on the quantitative results. Quantitative data were analysed using descriptive analysis while qualitative data were analysed using thematic analysis with a semi-inductive approach. The data were triangulated to enhance comprehensiveness and credibility of the findings. Findings: The survey was completed by 388 community pharmacists, and 23 pharmacists participated in the interview. Most community pharmacists indicated their willingness to serve as TB-DOT supervisors (70.1%). Qualitative results supported the findings. Community pharmacy-based TB-DOT service was perceived as an avenue to improve TB management and outcomes and to enhance the professional role of pharmacists in TB service at primary care settings. This was also perceived as a feasible intervention with the potential to strengthen the National TB Control programme. This initiative needs be reinforced with adequate support from the public healthcare sector for a strong partnership in ensuring success.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere21
Number of pages14
JournalPrimary Health Care Research & Development
Publication statusPublished - 22 Mar 2023


  • community pharmacist
  • directly observed treatment
  • mixed-methods study
  • public-private mix
  • tuberculosis

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