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Drug allergy knowledge, attitude, and practice: A survey among doctors and pharmacists in public health facilities of Sabah, Malaysia.

Asia Pacific Allergy 2023 September
BACKGROUND: Given the deficits in allergists and testing capacity, the diagnosis of drug allergy is largely dependent on the clinician's and pharmacist's judgment. The ability to recognize drug allergies and respond appropriately is crucial to patient safety. Currently, there is a void in the evidence that limits the ability to recommend comprehensive and swift improvements on this front.

OBJECTIVE: This study thus aimed to evaluate the knowledge, attitude, and practice toward drug allergy among doctors and pharmacists working in public healthcare facilities in Sabah, Malaysia.

METHODS: This cross-sectional study was conducted in 24 hospitals and 11 clinics in Sabah. A validated Drug Allergy Knowledge, Attitude, and Practice Questionnaire was adapted from a published study and developed on an online survey platform. The questionnaire was distributed to all listed eligible respondents via email and personal messenger service.

RESULTS: A total of 549 doctors and pharmacists responded, with an overall response rate of 18.2%. The total mean knowledge, attitude, and practice scores were 8.3 (SD, 1.98), 18.9 (SD, 2.55), and 17.3 (SD, 4.4), respectively. It was found that pharmacists performed significantly poorer than both medical officers (mean score difference = -0.5; P = 0.006) and specialists (mean score difference = -0.9; P = 0.020) in the knowledge domain. As the time in service doubles, the knowledge score increases significantly by 0.3 ( P = 0.015).

CONCLUSION: Knowledge, attitude, and practice on drug allergy among doctors and pharmacists in Sabah were poor. It is thus timely for advanced educational programs on drug allergy to be formalized and implemented.

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