Publications by authors named "Sara Abdulrhim"

5 Publications

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Collaborative care model for diabetes in primary care settings in Qatar: a qualitative exploration among healthcare professionals and patients who experienced the service.

BMC Health Serv Res 2021 Mar 2;21(1):192. Epub 2021 Mar 2.

Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Practice, College of Pharmacy, QU Health, Qatar University, Doha, Qatar.

Background: Diabetes mellitus is highly prevalent and associated with huge economic burden globally. The conventional care and management of diabetes mellitus is highly fragmented and complex, warranting the need for a comprehensive Collaborative Care Model (CCM). Little is known about the perception of patients with diabetes and their healthcare providers about CCM, its barriers and facilitators. This study aimed to explore the value of CCM in diabetes care at a primary healthcare (PHC) setting from the perspective of patients with diabetes and healthcare professionals (HCPs), in an effort to expand our current knowledge on collaborative care in diabetes at primary care level for the purpose of quality improvement and service expansion.

Methods: Using an exploratory case study approach, semi-structured interviews were conducted among patients and HCPs who encountered CCM in Qatar during 2019 and 2020. The semi-structured interviews were transcribed verbatim and the data were analysed and interpreted using a deductive-inductive thematic analysis approach.

Results: Twelve patients and 12 HCPs at a diabetes clinic participated in one-to-one interviews. The interviews resulted in five different themes: the process and components of collaborative care model (four subthemes), current organizational support and resources (three subthemes), impact of collaborative care model on diabetes outcomes (three subthemes), enablers of collaborative care model (three subthemes), and barriers to collaborative care model (three subthemes). The participants indicated easy access to and communication with competent and pleasant HCPs. The patients appreciated the extra time spent with HCPs, frequent follow-up visits, and health education, which empowered them to self-manage diabetes. HCPs believed that successful CCM provision relied on their interest and commitment to care for patients with diabetes. Generally, participants identified barriers and facilitators that are related to patients, HCPs, and healthcare system.

Conclusions: The providers and users of CCM had an overall positive perception and appreciation of this model in PHC settings. Barriers to CCM such as undesirable attributes of HCPs and patients, unsupportive hospital system, and high workload must be addressed before implementing the model in other PHC settings.
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March 2021

Evidence of community pharmacists' response preparedness during COVID-19 public health crisis: A cross-sectional study.

J Infect Dev Ctries 2021 Jan 31;15(1):40-50. Epub 2021 Jan 31.

Clinical Pharmacy and Practice Department, College of Pharmacy, QU Health, Qatar University, Doha, Qatar.

Introduction: Community pharmacists are often the first point of contact for the public, especially during pandemics. As outlined by the International Pharmaceutical Federation, community pharmacists have an important public health role during this Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) public health emergency. We therefore investigated the current practices, response preparedness and professional development needs of community pharmacists in Qatar.

Methodology: A descriptive cross-sectional online 38-item questionnaire-based survey constructed on evidence-based public health roles of pharmacists was conducted between 28 May and 18 June 2020. Questions related to current practices required responses on a 5-point Likert-type scale ranging from "always" to "never". The questionnaire was evaluated for validity and the reliability analysis showed a Cronbach's alpha coefficient of 0.921.

Results: The response (n = 311) rate for the survey was 34.2%. More than 75% of pharmacists "always" encouraged and practiced hygiene and social distancing measures. On the other hand, the proportion of pharmacists "always" involved in patient assessment, education or providing information related to COVID-19 and application of evidence-based protocol ranged from 32 to 73%. The vast majority (87-96%) of pharmacists indicated that they needed professional development related to COVID-19. Overall, 77% of pharmacists either "strongly agreed" or "agreed" that they have all the necessary COVID-19 related emergency response preparedness and training. Country from which pharmacists obtained their first degree, and the type of pharmacy where they practice influenced their overall perception toward emergency response preparedness.

Conclusions: Community pharmacists in Qatar are willing to receive additional training related to COVID-19 public health crisis despite being prepared to engage with patients.
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January 2021

The impact of pharmacist care on diabetes outcomes in primary care settings: An umbrella review of published systematic reviews.

Prim Care Diabetes 2020 10 8;14(5):393-400. Epub 2020 Jan 8.

College of Pharmacy, QU Health, Qatar University, Doha, Qatar. Electronic address:

Objective: To systematically review published systematic reviews (SRs) examining the impact of pharmacist interventions in multidisciplinary diabetes care teams on diabetes-related clinical, humanistic, and economic outcomes in primary care settings.

Methods: PubMed, EMBASE, Scopus, Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects, Cochrane Library, Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) Database, Google Scholar, and PROSPERO were searched from inception to 2018. Studies published in English evaluating the effect of pharmacist interventions on diabetes outcomes were included. Two independent reviewers were involved in screening of titles and abstracts, selection of studies, and methodological quality assessment.

Results: Seven SRs were included in the study. Three of them included only randomized controlled trials, while the rest involved other study designs. Educational interventions by clinical pharmacists within the healthcare team were the most common types of interventions reported across all SRs. Pharmacist's interventions compared to usual care resulted in favorable significant improvements in hemoglobin A (HbA), fasting blood glucose, blood pressure, body mass index, total cholesterol, low density lipoprotein, high density lipoprotein and triglycerides in more than 50% of the SRs. Improvement in HbA was the mostly reported clinical outcome of pharmacist intervention in the literature (reported in six SRs). Pharmacist's interventions led to significant cost-saving ($8-$85,000 per person per year), cost-utility, and cost-benefit (benefit-to-cost ratio range from 1:1 to 8.5:1) versus usual care. Pharmacist's interventions improved patients' quality of life (QoL) in three SRs; however, no conclusion can be drawn due to the use of diverse QoL assessment tools.

Conclusions: Most SRs support the benefit of pharmacist care on diabetes-related clinical, humanistic, and economic outcomes in primary care settings. Improvements in diabetes outcomes can significantly reduce the burden of diabetes on healthcare system. Hence, the incorporation of pharmacists into multidisciplinary diabetes care teams is beneficial and should be strongly considered by clinicians and health policymakers.
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October 2020

Impact of a Collaborative Pharmaceutical Care Service Among Patients With Diabetes in an Ambulatory Care Setting in Qatar: A Multiple Time Series Study.

Value Health Reg Issues 2019 Sep 13;19:45-50. Epub 2019 Mar 13.

College of Pharmacy, Qatar University, Doha, Qatar. Electronic address:

Background: Diabetes mellitus is highly prevalent in the Middle East and the burden associated with it is dramatically increasing. Pharmacists working in collaborative healthcare teams have an important role to improve outcomes in the primary care of diabetes.

Objectives: To evaluate the impact of a collaborative pharmaceutical care service (CPCS) on improving outcomes among patients with diabetes in a primary care setting.

Methods: This was a retrospective, multiple time series study involving patients attending an ambulatory diabetes clinic at Qatar Petroleum Healthcare Center in Dukhan, Qatar. Patients' glycated hemoglobin A, fasting plasma glucose, body mass index, systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, and lipid profile were obtained at baseline, 6 months, and 12 months of receiving CPCS through a retrospective chart review. A repeated-measures analysis of variance test was used to determine the impact of the intervention on clinical outcomes.

Results: Ninety-six patients with diabetes were included in the analyses. There was a statistically significant reduction (ie, improvement) in glycated hemoglobin A by 1.4%, fasting plasma glucose by 41.3 mg/dL, body mass index by 1 kg/m, systolic blood pressure by 14.9 mm Hg, and diastolic blood pressure by 8.7 mm Hg from baseline to 12 months (P<.001 for all). Nevertheless, no significant reductions were observed in the lipid profile.

Conclusions: CPCS provision improves clinical outcomes in patients with diabetes over a 12-month follow-up period in a primary healthcare setting. Future studies should determine the long-term impact of a collaborative care model in this setting.
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September 2019

Medical comorbidities in patients with serious mental illness: a retrospective study of mental health patients attending an outpatient clinic in Qatar.

Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat 2017 15;13:2411-2418. Epub 2017 Sep 15.

Department of Pharmacy, Hamad Medical Corporation Mental Health Hospital, Doha, Qatar.

Background: The life span of individuals with serious mental illness (SMI) is shorter compared to the general population. This excess mortality is mainly due to physical illness. The aim of the study was to investigate the prevalence rates of different physical illnesses in individuals with SMI and to examine how these are being managed.

Methods: The study was a cross-sectional retrospective chart review of a cohort of patients with SMI. A comprehensive electronic data extraction tool using SurveyMonkey was used to collect patient demographics, psychiatric and medical comorbidities, medications and all relevant physical assessments. Data were then first extrapolated into an Excel spreadsheet and later to SPSS for data analysis. A descriptive statistical approach was used to analyze the demographic and clinical data. Chi-square test for categorical variables and -test for continuous variables were used to compare the demographic and clinical characteristics of the cohort.

Results: A total of 336 patients with SMI were included for the retrospective chart review. The majority of these patients had a diagnosis of depression (50.3%), followed by schizophrenia (33.0%) and bipolar disorder (19.6%). Diabetes was the most frequent medical comorbidity, diagnosed in 16.1% of SMI patients, followed by hypertension (9.2%) and dyslipidemia (9.8%). Monitoring of comorbidity-associated risk factors and other relevant physical assessment parameters (such as blood pressure, weight, hemoglobin A1c [HbA1c], blood glucose and lipids) were documented in less than 50% of patients, and some parameters, such as smoking status, were not documented at all.

Conclusion: Both, the literature and our cohort provide evidence that individuals with SMI are less likely to receive standard levels of care for their medical comorbidities.
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September 2017