Although pharmacy employees' involvement in patient education has great potential, the extent to which they actually provide cognitive services seems inadequate . Given the overburdening of the healthcare system and limited access to medical services due to the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic outbreak, this study aimed to evaluate the preparedness of Polish pharmacy employees for patient education on the new threat . The study was conducted using the mystery shopper method . Two interviewers phoned 90 randomly chosen community pharmacies throughout Poland and presented some inquiries on the SARS-CoV-2 . Pharmacists devoted more time to patients than pharmacy technicians (2:22 vs. 1:54), and the information they provided was significantly more comprehensive (= 0.006). The majority of respondents provided an evidence-based recommendation on prevention, symptoms, and management of SARS-CoV-2; however, the scope of advice significantly varied . Community pharmacy staff often expressed their concern about the lack of time to address patients' questions adequately . No statistically significant differences were found in recommendations provided by chain and non-chain pharmacy staff . Obtained results seem to confirm the possibility of involving pharmacists in public health activities during a pandemic . Nevertheless, providing proper working conditions and adequate just-in-time learning solutions is crucial.
MeSH: Betacoronavirus, Community Pharmacy Services, Coronavirus Infections, epidemiology, Cross-Sectional Studies, Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice, Humans, Pandemics, Patient Education as Topic, Pharmacists, Pneumonia, Viral, epidemiology, Poland, epidemiology, Professional Role