Factors Influencing Prescribing Decisions Among Primary Health Care Physicians in Al-Buraimi Governorate, Oman

  •  Hilal Salim Al Shamsi    
  •  Talib Salim Al Kalbani    
  •  Abdullah Ghthaith Almutairi    
  •  Sulaiman Salim Al Mashrafi    


Prescribing plays a major role in the activities practiced by physicians. The vast majority of health care consultations occur in the primary health care (PHC) system, where medication errors are more likely and can even be potentially life threatening. The goal of this study is to explore the factors affecting prescribing decisions among physicians working in PHC institutions in Al-Buraimi Governorate, Oman using a cross-sectional survey. Of the 53 physicians who received the questionnaire, 41 (77.4%) completed it. The Cronbach's alpha of the instrument was 0.913. The main patient factors that influenced prescribing decisions were age group (78%), gender (75.6%), and medication preference or untruthful patients (70.7%). The main physician factors were the lack of treatment alternatives (70.7%), doctor–patient relationship (68.3%), strict policies and guidelines (65.9%) and avoiding problems of drug unavailability (65.9%). The pharmacist influenced prescribing decisions for 36.6% of physicians. The methods used for keeping physician s’ medical knowledge up to date were private reading and the Internet (87.8% and 80.5%, respectively). Sources of prescribing guidance were colleagues and evidenced-based medicine websites (78.0% and 70.7%, respectively). The current study sheds some light on the factors and behaviours that influence physician prescribing decisions in PHCs in Al-Buraimi Governorate, Oman. Additionally, this study could be used for developing policies to improve drug selections and to increase clinical and economic effectiveness and efficiency.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.