International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy

, Volume 36, Issue 6, pp 1213–1221 | Cite as

Community pharmacists’ knowledge of diabetes management during Ramadan in Egypt

Research Article


Background Although Muslim diabetic patients may be aware of their religious exemption from fasting, many still fast and adjust their medication regimens accordingly. Pharmacists have a significant potential to identify and prevent harm from medication misuse in Ramadan. Objectives This study examines Egyptian pharmacists’ knowledge regarding management of diabetes during Ramadan. It also explores pharmacists’ willingness to attend a 1 day workshop on medication regimen adjustment during Ramadan. Setting Community pharmacies throughout Alexandria, Egypt. Methods A cross-sectional study using a pretested self-administered survey was conducted among a random sample of community pharmacists. The survey included three knowledge questions relevant to counseling diabetic patients during Ramadan. Questions covered the recommended timing and dosing for metformin and insulin as well as the safe blood glucose range required for diabetic patients to safely continue their fast. Using logistic regression, a model was estimated to predict pharmacists’ willingness to attend a workshop on the adjustment of medication regimens during Ramadan. Content analysis was used to analyze pharmacists’ answers to the question concerning what they would like the workshop to cover. Main outcome measure Pharmacists’ aggregate scores for all three diabetes management knowledge questions and pharmacists’ willingness to attend a workshop on the adjustment of medication regimens during Ramadan. Results Ninety three percent of the 298 approached pharmacists agreed to participate. Forty three pharmacists (15.9 %) did not know the correct answer to any question, 118(43.7 %) 24 answered one correctly, 86 (31.9 %) answered two correctly and only 23 (8.5 %) answered all 25 three correctly. Confidence in therapeutic knowledge regarding medication regimen 26 adjustment during Ramadan was not associated with the pharmacists’ knowledge of diabetes management during Ramadan. One hundred seventy five (63.6 %) pharmacists wanted to attend a workshop on adjusting medication regimens during Ramadan. This was significantly associated with pharmacists being Muslim (OR 3.52, CI 1.70–7.27) and of younger age (OR 30 = 0.98, CI 0.96–0.99978). Pharmacists offered specific content and communication process 31 suggestions for the workshop content. Conclusion This study identifies variability among community pharmacists’ knowledge of diabetes management during Ramadan. It also shows willingness among the majority of pharmacists to learn more about the topic


Diabetes Egypt Fasting Guidelines Islam Medication Muslim patients Pharmacists Pharmacy Ramadan Religion 



The authors would like to thank Dr. David Kreling, Dr. Nora Cate Schaeffer, Dr. Henry Young and Dr. Connie Kraus at the University of Wisconsin-Madison for their comments and suggestions which have been instrumental in shaping this project. The first author is thankful for the support received from the Joseph Wiederholt Wisconsin Distinguished Graduate Fellowship during the academic year 2012–2013.


This research was supported by a dissertator grant award provided by the Sonderegger Research Center at the School of Pharmacy, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Koninklijke Nederlandse Maatschappij ter bevordering der Pharmacie 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Joseph Wiederholt Wisconsin Distinguished Graduate Fellow, School of PharmacyUniversity of Wisconsin-MadisonMadisonUSA
  2. 2.Sonderegger Research Center, School of PharmacyUniversity of Wisconsin-MadisonMadisonUSA

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