Posted on April 27, 2020

Qatar University’s College of Pharmacy (QU-CPH) MSc student in Clinical Pharmacy and Practice, Sara Hamdi Abdulrhim, has conducted a real-world study on the impact and value of the collaborative model of care on diabetes outcomes in Qatar in her master’s thesis.

In which she defended recently virtually due to suspension of classes for students and precautionary measures to prevent novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The project titled “Exploring the Impact and Value of Collaborative Care Model in Diabetes Care at a Primary Healthcare Setting in Qatar” which aimed to explore the impact of the collaborative care model on several diabetes-related outcomes and to determine key stakeholders’ perspectives on the value of such model in primary healthcare settings.

The research project was supervised by CPH Professors of Clinical Pharmacy and Practice: Drs. Ahmed Awaisu, Sowndramalingam Sankaralingam, Mohamed Izham Mohamed Ibrahim, and Mohammad Issam Diab. The research project was supported by the Qatar Petroleum Health Department and involved fruitful collaboration between the CPH professors and healthcare professional collaborators at Dukhan Medical Center: Mohamed Abdelazim (Head Pharmacist); Dr. Mohammed Thahir Ismail (Head Physician); and Hend Al Raey (Head Nurse Diabetes Educator). This project is the first of its kind conducted in Qatar that investigates and reports the positive perspectives of patients and healthcare professionals on the value of the Collaborative Care Model for managing diabetes in primary healthcare settings.

Sara Abdulrhim said, “Inefficiencies in delivering diabetes care in primary healthcare settings can be circumvented by the integration of the collaborative care model. This project will describe the components of the Collaborative Care Model provided by healthcare professionals in Qatar Petroleum Diabetes Clinic in Dukhan, which can guide the implementation of this model in other ambulatory settings, and ultimately help in reducing diabetes complications, risks of hospitalizations, and medication overuse associated with the disease.”

Dr. Ahmed Awaisu said: “Sara has demonstrated evidence of outstanding performance in all areas of scholarship and academic endeavor during the MSc program. This MSc study is novel, the methodology used was robust and the thesis was meticulously written to the highest quality. The real contribution to health is that the findings can potentially help to reduce the health and economic burden of diabetes by decreasing workload, reducing the frequency of emergency department visits, improving diabetes-related outcomes, and ultimately decreasing the morbidity and mortality associated with diabetes in Qatar and the Middle East”.

Sara added: “Due to the current global public health crisis and closure of academic institutions, conducting MSc defence online was a new and smooth experience, thanks to all my supervisors’ support and motivation. I am grateful for the time and energy I have invested in the MSc, and the value I gained from it. I have gained work-related skills and experience through being a class representative, Pharmacy Postgraduate Society President, and Graduate Teaching Assistant. Therefore, I would like to acknowledge Qatar University and the College of Pharmacy for the higher education standards and quality they provided me with and the professional support to make this opportunity achievable. I also acknowledge with thanks the two research grants provided by Qatar University through the Office of Research Support".

This project was presented in the 8th College of Pharmacy Research Forum at Qatar University and won first place in the poster presentation. The findings are promising and at the focus of many more conferences in the future. Sara has successfully produced one publication from her thesis, and is in the process of publishing four more articles.

The culture and practice of collaborative care begins with inter-professional education, a foundation that starts in healthcare professional education programs. Inter-professional education is well embedded in the curriculum of (QU-CPH) across all professional years and the college is taking a lead in the development and implementation of inter-professional education in the country. It is believed that when the students graduate and join clinical practice, they will be able to translate the skills gained into collaborative practice.