The Pharmacy Department at the National Center for Cancer Care and Research (NCCCR) and the Heart Hospital in collaboration with Qatar University’s College of Pharmacy has piloted a pharmacy practice research program.
The four-day program titled: “Research Training Program for Building Health?related Research Capacity of Pharmacists at NCCCR and Heart Hospital in Qatar” provides comprehensive research training that targets pharmacists practicing at cardiology (heart) and cancer care institutions in Qatar.
The prevalence of cancer and heart diseases are on the rise in Qatar and the two have been identified as significant healthcare burdens while also being made priorities in the Qatar National Research Strategy and the National Health Strategy 2011 – 2016.
The program, sponsored by the Qatar National Research Fund, is being provided by practice research professors from Qatar University’s College of Pharmacy including Dr. Ahmed Awaisu, Dr. Mohamed Izham M Ibrahim, and Dr. Nadir Kheir as well as Director of Pharmacy at NCCCR and Heart Hospital, Dr. Manal Al Zaidan.
Undergraduate students from Qatar University’s College of Pharmacy, Hanen Al Rowashdeh, Soumaya Allouch, and Tesnime Jebara are actively involved in the program which as part of their undergraduate research experience program.
The training program has already been accredited as a continuing professional development course by the Qatar Council for Health Practitioners, Supreme Council of Health (SCH) and the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) – USA.
Participants in the program will be awarded 24 Continuing Education (CE) units by the SCH and 2.4 CE units by the US-based ACPE.
“The role of pharmacists in healthcare is rapidly evolving towards patient-centered care, and building capacity among the country’s pharmacists is needed. Pharmacists provide different types of cognitive services independently and in close collaboration with other healthcare professionals,” said Dr. Ahmed Awaisu adding: “pharmacy practice-based research is essential to the advancement of pharmacy practice and serves as the bedrock for evidence-based pharmacy.”
He explained that the four-day program was intended to teach fundamental knowledge and skills on research methodology and biostatistics to novice researchers, especially in pharmacy related areas, and to provide motivation and impetus to get pharmacists started in planning and conducting pharmacy practice research.
“During the program, participants are guided to conceive a research idea and research questions, design a study and develop a research proposal, and implement it in real-life (home study). This should be in line with each participant’s interest and practice setting,” Dr. Awaisu mentioned.
“The ultimate goal is to use research evidence to influence practice change and health outcomes of the population at large. We believe this initiative will contribute significantly to human capital development of the country,” Dr. Manal Al Zaidan noted.