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Can the worlds of folk music and pharmacy be mixed?

It would seem that folk music and pharmacy don’t mix, at least in the eyes of pharmacists who participated in a unique Malaysian trial.

The Dikir Farmasi scheme is an ‘edutainment’ program providing health promotion via folk song.

It aims to “disseminate information about the regulation of legitimate use of drugs and cosmetics” by combining dikir barat, a type of traditional folk song and traditional sketches popular in the Malaysian state of Kelantan.

Unfortunately detailed interviews with nine state pharmacy officers who participated in the scheme found that they were less than impressed by the use of folk music in their work. They described it as being time-consuming and disruptive to their core duties.

The officers told researchers from Monash University Malaysia and the University of Tasmania that the entertainment aspects as distracting from the educational message of the program.

“Generally, the pharmacy officers were not very optimistic toward using edutainment to disseminate health information”, the researchers concluded.     

However, a concurrent public study found respondents were “optimistic about the feasibility of DF being used in the future”.

The research was presented at the Australasian Pharmaceutical Sciences Association Annual Conference, in Sydney in December 2016.

Conference abstracts were published recently in the journal Research in Social and Administrative Pharmacy

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