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Private pharmacies in Hanoi, Vietnam: a randomized trial of a 2-year multi-component intervention on knowledge and stated practice regarding ARI, STD and antibiotic/steroid requests

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Summary Objectives 

To assess the effectiveness of a multi-component intervention on knowledge and reported practice amongst staff working in private pharmacies in Hanoi regarding four conditions: urethral discharge [sexually transmitted diseases (STD)], acute respiratory infection (ARI), and non-prescription requests for antibiotics and steroids. Method 

Randomized controlled trial with staff working in 22 matched pair intervention and control private pharmacies who were administered a semistructured questionnaire on the four conditions before and 4 months after the interventions. The interventions focused on the four conditions and were in sequence (i) regulations enforcement; (ii) face-to-face education and (iii) peer influence. Outcome measures were knowledge and reported change in practice for correct management of tracer conditions. Results 

The intervention/control-pairs (22 after drop-outs) were analysed pre- and post-intervention using the Wilcoxon signed rank test. STD: More drug sellers stated they would ask about the health of the partner (P = 0.03) and more said they would advise condom use (P = 0.01) and partner notification (P = 0.04). ARI: More drug sellers stated they would ask questions regarding fever (P = 0.01), fewer would give antibiotics (P = 0.02) and more would give traditional medicines (P = 0.03). Antibiotics request: Fewer said they would sell a few capsules of cefalexin without a prescription (P = 0.02). Steroid requests: No statistical difference was seen in the numbers who said they would sell steroids without a prescription as numbers declined in both intervention and control groups (P = 0.12). Conclusion 

The three interventions in series over 17 months were effective in changing the knowledge and reported practice of drug sellers in Hanoi.
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Keywords: ARI; STD; Vietnam; antibiotics; multi-component intervention; pharmacy staff knowledge; pharmacy staff reported practice; private pharmacy; steroids

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Management Sciences for Health, Arlington, VA, USA 2: Hanoi Medical University, Hanoi Vietnam 3: Department of Public Health Sciences, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden

Publication date: September 1, 2002

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