To describe the extent of psychiatric pharmacy instruction in US pharmacy curricula, including course and faculty characteristics and mental health topics taught in clinical therapeutics-based courses.
An 11-item survey instrument (54% response) was developed and mailed to 91 colleges and schools of pharmacy.
Over 75% of colleges and schools employed a psychiatric pharmacist; however, less than 50% of faculty teaching psychiatric pharmacy content were psychiatric pharmacy specialists as defined in the study. All colleges and schools included psychiatric topics as part of a therapeutics-based course with an average of 9.5% of course content devoted to these topics. About 25% of colleges and schools offered elective didactic courses in psychiatric pharmacy. Only 2 schools required a psychiatric pharmacy advanced pharmacy practice experience (APPE), but about 92% offered elective APPEs. The mean number of hours spent on lecture- and case-based instruction across all colleges and schools was highest for depression and lowest for personality disorders.
There is a need for colleges and schools of pharmacy to better identify and standardize the minimal acceptable level of didactic instruction in psychiatric pharmacy as well as the minimal level of specialty qualifications for faculty members who teach this subject.
psychiatric pharmacy; pharmacy education; curriculum; mental health
Nonprescription drug therapy is tightly woven into the fabric of American health care. Market forces are expected to contribute to significant expansion of nonprescription drug use. Consumers place high value on nonprescription drug therapy; however, self-medicating patients frequently need assistance from a learned intermediary to assure optimal integration of nonprescription drug therapy into the total care regimen. Pharmacist-assisted self-care holds vast potential to serve the public interest, but this expanded practice role will require higher levels of professional practice commitment by American pharmacy. That commitment must be supported by practice-relevant, competency-based, patient-centered college and school of pharmacy curricula and continuing education that assures perpetual intellectual proficiency in nonprescription drug pharmacotherapy. That knowledge and competency must be integrated holistically into the total mix of patient comorbidity and polypharmacy. The pharmacist-assisted self-care business and professional practice model must be further facilitated by state and national pharmacy organizations, chain and independent community pharmacy, pharmacy wholesalers, and others. Consumers await expanded and differentiated pharmacy-based, pharmacist-provided medication therapy management services focused on the safe, appropriate, and effective selection, use, and monitoring of nonprescription drugs therapy.
self-care; nonprescription medication; curriculum
Objective. To continue efforts of quality assurance following a 5-year curricular mapping and course peer review process, 18 topics (“streams”) of knowledge, skills, and attitudes were assessed across the doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) curriculum.
Design. The curriculum committee merged the 18 topics into 9 streams. Nine ad hoc committees (“stream teams”) of faculty members and preceptors evaluated the content, integration, and assessment for their assigned streams across the 4 professional years. Committees used a reporting tool and curriculum database to complete their reviews.
Assessment. After each team presented their findings and recommendations at a faculty retreat, the 45 faculty members were asked to list their top priorities for curriculum improvement. The 5 top priorities identified were: redefinition and clarification of program outcomes; improved coordination of streams across the curriculum; consistent repetition and assessment of math skills throughout the curriculum; focused nonprescription and self-care teaching into an individual course; and improved development of problem solving.
Conclusions. This comprehensive assessment enabled the college to identify areas for curriculum improvement that were not readily apparent to the faculty from prior reviews of individual courses.
curricular assessment; curriculum; streams of knowledge; curricular mapping
Self-care is an important component of the doctor of pharmacy curriculum due to the expanding nonprescription medication market and the high percentage of pharmacists practicing in community pharmacy. It can be incorporated as a freestanding course or integrated throughout the curriculum. This article presents the experiences of 2 junior faculty members at 2 different pharmacy schools who were charged with coordinating self-care instruction at their institutions. It discusses the “lessons learned” regarding teaching self-care effectively in an integrated curriculum and in a freestanding course.
self-care; nonprescription medications; teaching
During the past 15 years, the curriculum content for nonprescription medication and self-care therapeutics has expanded significantly. Self-care courses ranging from stand-alone, required courses to therapeutic content and skills laboratories, have evolved in colleges and schools of pharmacy to accommodate rapid changes related to nonprescription medications and to meet the needs of students. The design of and content delivery methods used in self-care courses vary among institutions. Teaching innovations such as team-based learning, role playing/vignettes, videos, and social media, as well as interdisciplinary learning have enhanced delivery of this content. Given that faculty members train future pharmacists, they should be familiar with the new paradigms of Nonprescription Safe Use Regulatory Expansion (NSURE) Initiative, nonprescription medications for chronic diseases, and the growing trends of health and wellness in advancing patient-care initiatives. This paper reviews the significant changes that may be impacting self-care curriculums in the United States.
self-care; nonprescription medications; pharmacy education
In response to the American Osteopathic Association’s Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA) standards set forth in 2008, osteopathic medical schools are restructuring curricula to demonstrate they are teaching the seven core competencies and integrating evidence-based medicine (EBM) throughout all 4 years of training.
To describe and evaluate the efforts of a college of osteopathic medicine to integrate EBM concepts into its curriculum while maintaining existing course content and faculty contact hours.
One-group pre- and posttest study.
Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine-A.T. Still University (KCOM) in Missouri.
KCOM course directors in workshop series I (n=20) and KCOM faculty workshop series II (n=14).
A faculty development workshop series based on the diffusion of innovations model was instituted to facilitate cultural change, gain faculty support, and accelerate the implementation of EBM throughout KCOM’s curriculum.
Faculty attitudes, confidence levels, and the number of courses that included instruction of EBM concepts were measured in August 2007 and May 2008.
Faculty attitudes about integrating EBM into the curriculum and confidence levels measured pre- and postworkshop series found that 21 of 26 participants believed they improved their ability to locate primary EBM resources using the Internet; 21 of 28 improved their ability to teach EBM concepts to students. Fifteen of 16 faculty course directors agreed to find ways to incorporate EBM into their classes. Review of KCOM’s course syllabi in April 2009 demonstrated a statistically significant difference (P<.001) in the number of faculty teaching EBM concepts after the faculty development workshop series concluded in March 2008 compared to before the series commenced in March 2006. An unexpected outcome was the implementation of a faculty-conceived, standalone EBM course in fall 2007.
A workshop series based on the diffusion of innovations model is effective in garnering faculty support for the implementation of a change in curriculum that emphasizes EBM content without increasing faculty contact hours or eliminating existing curricular content. A faculty development model emphasizing a “bottom-to-top” approach is effective in achieving workplace culture changes and seamless curricular transitions. Results have shown that a consensus building model is conducive to engaging faculty and garnering its support to effect curricular change, which, ultimately, ensures success.
To document teaching evaluation practices in colleges and schools of pharmacy.
A 51-item questionnaire was developed based on the instrument used in a previous study with modifications made to address changes in pharmacy education. An online survey service was used to distribute the electronic questionnaire to the deans of 98 colleges and schools of pharmacy in the United States.
Completed surveys were received from 89 colleges and schools of pharmacy. All colleges/schools administered student evaluations of classroom and experiential teaching. Faculty peer evaluation of classroom teaching was used by 66% of colleges/schools. Use of other evaluation methods had increased over the previous decade, including use of formalized self-appraisal of teaching, review of teaching portfolios, interviews with samples of students, and review by teaching experts. While the majority (55%) of colleges/schools administered classroom teaching evaluations at or near the conclusion of a course, 38% administered them at the midpoint and/or conclusion of a faculty member's teaching within a team-taught course. Completion of an online evaluation form was the most common method used for evaluation of classroom (54%) and experiential teaching (72%).
Teaching evaluation methods used in colleges and schools of pharmacy expanded from 1996 to 2007 to include more evaluation of experiential teaching, review by peers, formalized self-appraisal of teaching, review of teaching portfolios, interviews with samples of students, review by teaching experts, and evaluation by alumni. Procedures for conducting student evaluations of teaching have adapted to address changes in curriculum delivery and technology.
teaching; evaluation; assessment; survey
The trends in the quality of biomedical education in pharmacy schools have witnessed significant changes in the 21st century. With the advent of continuous revision and standardization processes of medical curricula throughout the world, the focus has been on imparting quality education. This pedagogic paradigm has shifted to pharmacy schools. In Saudi Arabia, the concept of “medical and pharmacy education” is relatively new as mainstream pharmacy curriculum and universities were established only half a century ago. This period has seen major changes in the dimension of “pharmacy education” to keep pace with the education systems in the United States and Europe. As our knowledge and perceptions about pharmaceuticals change with time, this motivates educators to search for better teaching alternatives to the ever increasing number of enthusiastic and budding pharmacists. Recently, the academic system in Saudi Arabian Pharmacy has adopted a more clinically-oriented Pharm. D. curriculum. This paper deals with the major changes from the inception of a small pharmacy faculty in 1959, the College of Pharmacy at the King Saud University, Riyadh, to the model of progress and a prototype of pharmacy colleges in Saudi Arabia. The fifty year chronological array can be regarded as an epitome of progress in pharmacy education in Saudi Arabia from its traditional curriculum to the modern day Pharm. D. curriculum with a high population growth and expanding health care sector, the demand for qualified pharmacists is growing and is projected to grow considerably in the future. The number of pharmacy graduates is increasing each year by many folds and to meet the needs the system lays stress upon a constant revising and updating of the current curriculum from a global perspective.
Pharmacy education; Pharmacy curriculum; Pharm. D.; King Saud University; Saudi Arabia
To assess pharmacy faculty members' perceptions of the Rx for Change tobacco cessation program materials and train-the-trainer program.
Pharmacy faculty members attended a 14.5 hour train-the-trainer program conducted over 3 days. Posttraining survey instruments assessed participants' (n = 188) characteristics and factors hypothesized to be associated with program adoption.
Prior to the training, 49.5% of the faculty members had received no formal training for treating tobacco use and dependence, and 46.3% had never taught students how to treat tobacco use and dependence. Participants' self-rated abilities to teach tobacco cessation increased posttraining (p < 0.001). The curriculum materials were viewed as either moderately (43.9%) or highly (54.0%) compatible for integration into existing curricula, and 68.3% reported they were “highly likely” to implement the program in the upcoming year.
Participation in a national train-the-trainer program significantly increased faculty members' perceived ability to teach tobacco-related content to pharmacy students, and the majority of participants indicated a high likelihood of adopting the Rx for Change program at their school. The train-the-trainer model appears to be a viable and promising strategy for promoting adoption of curricular innovations on a national scale.
tobacco cessation education; train-the-trainer; faculty development; assessment
The preprofessional pharmacy curriculum provides the foundation for the professional curriculum. Basic requirements are noted in the ACPE Standards and Guidelines, but there is considerable variation in the preprofessional curriculum requirements for entry into doctor of pharmacy programs in the United States. Changes in higher education, pharmacy practice, and health care continue to drive the need to evaluate the preprofessional curriculum. The objectives of this white paper were to create model preprofessional curricula that would enable students to be successful during and after entry into the professional curriculum. Using an evidence-based approach where possible, a number of factors were found to be associated with academic success during a pharmacy program and on licensing examinations. These data and other information were used to create 2 preprofessional curricular models that include the development of general and discipline-specific abilities. Challenges remain in accurately evaluating the abilities and attributes of applicants and the impact of those abilities and attributes on their success as a student and a practitioner. Colleges and schools of pharmacy should consider adopting a more consistent preprofessional curriculum on a national level. This preprofessional curriculum should be multi-dimensional, based on needs for future practice, and revised over time.
preprofessional curriculum; prerequisites; admissions
To identify compounding practices of independent community pharmacy practitioners in order to make recommendations for the development of curricular objectives for doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) programs.
Independent community practitioners were asked about compounding regarding their motivations, common activities, educational exposures, and recommendations for PharmD education.
Most respondents (69%) accepted compounding as a component of pharmaceutical care and compounded dermatological preparations for local effects, oral solutions, and suspensions at least once a week. Ninety-five percent were exposed to compounding in required pharmacy school courses and most (98%) who identified compounding as a professional service offered in their pharmacy sought additional postgraduate compounding education. Regardless of the extent of compounding emphasis in the practices surveyed, 84% stated that PharmD curricula should include compounding.
Pharmacy schools should define compounding curricular objectives and develop compounding abilities in a required laboratory course to prepare graduates for pharmaceutical care practice.
pharmaceutical care; compounding; independent community pharmacy; curricula
Objective. To assess pharmacy faculty trainers’ perceptions of a Web-based train-the-trainer program for PharmGenEd, a shared pharmacogenomics curriculum for health professional students and licensed clinicians.
Methods. Pharmacy faculty trainers (n=58, representing 39 colleges and schools of pharmacy in the United States and 1 school from Canada) participated in a train-the-trainer program consisting of up to 9 pharmacogenomics topics. Posttraining survey instruments assessed faculty trainers’ perceptions toward the training program and the likelihood of their adopting the educational materials as part of their institution’s curriculum.
Results. Fifty-five percent of faculty trainers reported no prior formal training in pharmacogenomics. There was a significant increase (p<0.001) in self-reported ability to teach pharmacogenomics to pharmacy students after participants viewed the webinar and obtained educational materials. Nearly two-thirds (64%) indicated at least a “good” likelihood of adopting PharmGenEd materials at their institution during the upcoming academic year. More than two-thirds of respondents indicated interest in using PharmGenEd materials to train licensed health professionals, and 95% indicated that they would recommend the program to other pharmacy faculty members.
Conclusion. As a result of participating in the train-the-trainer program in pharmacogenomics, faculty member participants gained confidence in teaching pharmacogenomics to their students, and the majority of participants indicated a high likelihood of adopting the program at their institution. A Web-based train-the-trainer model appears to be a feasible strategy for training pharmacy faculty in pharmacogenomics.
pharmacogenomics; curriculum; pharmacy colleges and schools; faculty development; train-the-trainer
To assess the breadth, depth, and perceived importance of pharmacogenomics instruction and level of faculty development in this area in schools and colleges of pharmacy in the United States.
A questionnaire used and published previously was further developed and sent to individuals at all US schools and colleges of pharmacy. Multiple approaches were used to enhance response.
Seventy-five (83.3%) questionnaires were returned. Sixty-nine colleges (89.3%) included pharmacogenomics in their PharmD curriculum compared to 16 (39.0%) as reported in a 2005 study. Topic coverage was <10 hours for 28 (40.6%), 10-30 hours for 29 (42.0%), and 31-60 hours for 10 (14.5%) colleges and schools of pharmacy. Fewer than half (46.7%) were planning to increase course work over the next 3 years and 54.7% had no plans for faculty development related to pharmacogenomics.
Most US colleges of pharmacy include pharmacogenomics content in their curriculum, however, the depth may be limited. The majority did not have plans for faculty development in the area of pharmacogenomic content expertise.
pharmacogenomics education; pharmacogenetics education; curriculum
Pharmaceutical care is defined as the responsible provision of medication therapy to achieve definite outcomes that improve patients’ quality of life. Pharmacy education should equip students with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes they need to practise pharmaceutical care competently.
To investigate pharmacy students’ attitudes towards pharmaceutical care, perceptions of their preparedness to perform pharmaceutical care competencies, opinions about the importance of the various pharmaceutical care activities, and the barriers to its implementation in Kuwait.
A descriptive, cross-sectional survey of pharmacy students (n=126) was conducted at Faculty of Pharmacy, Kuwait University. Data were collected via a pre-tested self-administered questionnaire. Descriptive statistics including percentages, medians and means Likert scale rating (SD) were calculated and compared using SPSS, version 19. Statistical significance was accepted at a p value of 0.05 or lower.
The response rate was 99.2%. Pharmacy students expressed overall positive attitudes towards pharmaceutical care. They felt prepared to implement the various aspects of pharmaceutical care, with the least preparedness in the administrative/management aspects. Perceived pharmaceutical care competencies grew as students progressed through the curriculum. The students also appreciated the importance of the various pharmaceutical care competencies. They agreed/strongly agreed that the major barriers to the integration of pharmaceutical care into practice were lack of private counseling areas or inappropriate pharmacy layout (95.2%), lack of pharmacist time (83.3%), organizational obstacles (82.6%), and pharmacists’ physical separation from patient care areas (82.6%).
Pharmacy students’ attitudes and perceived preparedness can serve as needs assessment tools to guide curricular change and improvement. Student pharmacists at Kuwait University understand and advocate implementation of pharmaceutical care while also recognizing the barriers to its widespread adoption. The education and training provided at Kuwait University Faculty of Pharmacy is designed to develop students to be the change agents who can advance pharmacist-provided direct patient care.
Students; Pharmacy; Education; Pharmacy; Curriculum; Attitude of Health Personnel; Professional Role; Kuwait
Objective. To describe the development, implementation, and initial outcomes of a pharmaceutical care training-of-trainers course developed to assist Ethiopian pharmacy faculty members and graduate students in the development of curriculum and provision of pharmaceutical care services of relevance to this low-income country.
Design. In this collaboration, US and Ethiopian faculty members worked together in a week-long seminar and in hospital ward rounds to develop and offer a course to facilitate faculty members, curricular, and service development in pharmaceutical care in Ethiopia.
Assessment. Assessments were conducted during the seminar, immediately post-seminar, at 3 months post-seminar, and at 1 year post-seminar. An examination was administered at the conclusion of the course to assess immediate learning outcomes for the graduate students. Post-course assessments of short-term (3-month) and longer-term (12-month) impact were conducted to identify pharmaceutical care services that had been implemented to assess knowledge and skill gained during the seminar. Correspondence between seminar participants and the US faculty members as well as graduate student thesis projects provided further evidence of changes at 3 and 12 months post-course.
Conclusion. Pharmaceutical care training was developed for Ethiopian faculty members through a seminar and hospital ward rounds. Enhancements have been added to curricula for bachelor in pharmacy students and select pharmaceutical care services have been implemented through master's thesis projects.
pharmaceutical care; global; collaborative; training; preceptor
Objective. To describe the integration of science of safety (SoS) topics in doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) curricula of US colleges and schools of pharmacy.
Methods. A questionnaire that contained items pertaining to what and how SoS topics are taught in PharmD curricula was e-mailed to representatives at 107 US colleges and schools of pharmacy.
Results. The majority of the colleges and schools responding indicated that they had integrated SoS topics into their curriculum, however, some gaps (eg, teaching students about communicating risk, Food and Drug Administration [FDA] Sentinel Initiative, utilizing patient databases) were identified that need to be addressed.
Conclusions. The FDA and the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) should continue to collaborate to develop resources needed to ensure that topics proposed by the FDA in their SoS framework are taught at all colleges and schools of pharmacy.
medication safety; pharmacy education; curriculum; science of safety
Physician-performed focused ultrasonography is a rapidly growing field with numerous clinical applications. Focused ultrasound is a clinically useful tool with relevant applications across most specialties. Ultrasound technology has outpaced the education, necessitating an early introduction to the technology within the medical education system. There are many challenges to integrating ultrasound into medical education including identifying appropriately trained faculty, access to adequate resources, and appropriate integration into existing medical education curricula. As focused ultrasonography increasingly penetrates academic and community practices, access to ultrasound equipment and trained faculty is improving. However, there has remained the major challenge of determining at which level is integrating ultrasound training within the medical training paradigm most appropriate.
The Ohio State University College of Medicine has developed a novel vertical curriculum for focused ultrasonography which is concordant with the 4-year medical school curriculum. Given current evidenced-based practices, a curriculum was developed which provides medical students an exposure in focused ultrasonography. The curriculum utilizes focused ultrasonography as a teaching aid for students to gain a more thorough understanding of basic and clinical science within the medical school curriculum. The objectives of the course are to develop student understanding in indications for use, acquisition of images, interpretation of an ultrasound examination, and appropriate decision-making of ultrasound findings.
Preliminary data indicate that a vertical ultrasound curriculum is a feasible and effective means of teaching focused ultrasonography. The foreseeable limitations include faculty skill level and training, initial cost of equipment, and incorporating additional information into an already saturated medical school curriculum.
Focused ultrasonography is an evolving concept in medicine. It has been shown to improve education and patient care. The indications for and implementation of focused ultrasound is rapidly expanding in all levels of medicine. The ideal method for teaching ultrasound has yet to be established. The vertical curriculum in ultrasound at The Ohio State University College of Medicine is a novel evidenced-based training regimen at the medical school level which integrates ultrasound training into medical education and serves as a model for future integrated ultrasound curricula.
Curriculum; Focused ultrasound; Medical education; Ultrasonography; Undergraduate medical education
Objective. To assess mental health education in the undergraduate pharmacy curricula in the United Kingdom and gauge how well prepared graduates are to manage mental health patients.
Method. The authors conducted semi-structured telephone interviews with pharmacy educators and administered an electronic self-administered survey instrument to pharmacy graduates.
Results. The mental health conditions of depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and Parkinson disease were taught, in detail, by all schools, but more specialized areas of mental health (eg, personality disorder, autism) were generally not taught. Just 5 of 19 schools attempted to teach the broader social aspects of mental health. A third of the schools provided experiential learning opportunities. Graduates and recently registered pharmacists stated that undergraduate education had prepared them adequately with regard to knowledge on conditions and treatment options, but that they were not as well prepared to talk with mental health patients and deal with practical drug management-related issues.
Conclusion. The mental health portion of the undergraduate pharmacy curricula in colleges and schools of pharmacy in the United Kingdom is largely theoretical, and pharmacy students have little exposure to mental health patients. Graduates identified an inability to effectively communicate with these patients and manage common drug management-related issues.
mental health; pharmacy education; graduate; curriculum
Approximately 38% of US pharmacy schools provide immunization education and training to pharmacy students as part of their core curricula. These deficiencies in immunization education and training may contribute to low immunization rates for some groups of people, particularly hard-to-reach consumers and those with misconceptions about vaccinations. In this paper, we call upon all pharmacy schools to mandate immunization education and training as part of their core curricula, not just as an elective course. In doing so, we encourage pharmacy schools to adopt the Pharmacy-Based Immunization Delivery program developed by the American Pharmacists Association. We recognize that implementation of these recommendations will require sufficient resources and that it will take time to change the curricula in colleges and schools of pharmacy.
immunization; vaccine; health care barriers; disease prevention; curriculum
Objectives. To determine the extent of implementation of Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommendations for 5 core competencies within the doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) curricula in US colleges and schools of pharmacy.
Methods. A survey instrument that used IOM language to define each of the recommended competencies (patient-centered care, interdisciplinary teaming, evidence-based practice, quality improvement, and informatics) was sent to 115 US colleges and schools of pharmacy.
Results. Evidence-based practice and patient-centered care were the most widely implemented of the 5 core competencies (in 87% and 84% of colleges and schools, respectively), while informatics, interdisciplinary teaming, and quality improvement were implemented to a lesser extent (at 36%, 34%, and 29% of colleges and schools, respectively).
Conclusions. Significant progress has been made by colleges and schools of pharmacy for inclusion of IOM competencies relating to evidence-based practice and patient-centered care within curricula. However, the areas of informatics, interdisciplinary teaming, and quality improvement are lagging in inclusion.
Institute of Medicine; competency; curriculum
Objectives. To determine the reliability and value of peer- and self -reported evaluations in the grading of pharmacy students.
Methods. Mean student peer- and self- reported grades were compared to faculty grades in the advanced pharmacy practice experience (APPE) and seminar presentation courses. Responses from pharmacy school alumni regarding curricular peer- and self-reported evaluations were solicited using an online survey tool.
Results. Self-reported student grades were lower than the faculty-reported grade overall and for the formal presentation component of the APPE course grading rubric. Self-reported grades were no different than faculty-reported grades for the seminar course. Students graded their peers higher than did faculty members for both the seminar and APPE courses on all components of the grading rubric. The majority of pharmacy alumni conducted peer- and self-evaluations (64% and 85%, respectively) at least annually and considered peer- and self-evaluations useful in assessing students’ work in group projects, oral presentations, and professional skills.
Conclusion. The combination of self-, peer-, and faculty-assessments using a detailed grading rubric offers an opportunity to meet accreditation standards and better prepare pharmacy students for their professional careers.
self-assessment; peer-assessment; grading rubric; evaluation; assessment; advanced pharmacy practice experience
Health professionals play a key role in the delivery of nutrition interventions. Improving the quality of nutrition training in health professional schools is vital for building the necessary human resource capacity to implement effective interventions for reducing malnutrition in West Africa. This study was undertaken to assess the current status of nutrition training in medical, nursing and midwifery schools in West Africa.
Data were collected from 127 training programs organized by 52 medical, nursing, and midwifery schools. Using a semi-structured questionnaire, we collected information on the content and distribution of nutrition instruction throughout the curriculum, the number of hours devoted to nutrition, the years of the curriculum in which nutrition was taught, and the prevailing teaching methods. Simple descriptive and bivariate analyses were performed.
Nutrition instruction occurred mostly during the first 2 years for the nursing (84%), midwifery (87%), and nursing assistant (77%) programs and clinical years in medical schools (64%). The total amount of time devoted to nutrition was on average 57, 56, 48, and 28 hours in the medical, nursing, midwifery, and nursing assistant programs, respectively. Nutrition instruction was mostly provided within the framework of a dedicated nutrition course in nursing (78%), midwifery (87%), and nursing assistant programs (100%), whereas it was mainly embedded in other courses in medical schools (46%). Training content was heavily weighted to basic nutrition in the nursing (69%), midwifery (77%), and nursing assistant (100%) programs, while it was oriented toward clinical practice in the medical programs (64%). For all the programs, there was little focus (<6 hours contact time) on public health nutrition. The teaching methods on nutrition training were mostly didactic in all the surveyed schools; however, we found an integrated model in some medical schools (12%). None of the surveyed institutions had a dedicated nutrition faculty. The majority (55%) of the respondents rated nutrition instruction in their institutions as insufficient.
The results of our study reveal important gaps in current approaches to nutrition training in health professional schools in West Africa. Addressing these gaps is critical for the development of a skilled nutrition workforce in the region. Nutrition curricula that provide opportunities to obtain more insights about the basic principles of human nutrition and their application to public health and clinical practice are recommended.
nutrition; training; curriculum revision; capacity development; health professional schools; West Africa
Pharmacy practice in Yemen was established in 1875 in Aden.
To describe pharmacy practice as it currently exists in Yemen, the challenges the profession faces, and to recommend changes that will improve pharmaceutical care services.
This study has two parts. Part 1 comprised a literature search performed between May and July 2011 to identify published studies on pharmacy practice in Yemen. Full text papers, abstracts, and reports in Arabic or English between 1970 and 2011 were reviewed. Part 2 consisted of a qualitative study with face-to-face interviews with a representative sample of pharmacists, staff from the Ministry of Public Health and Population (MoPHP), and patients.
The analysis revealed several issues that plague pharmacy practice in Yemen:
Fewer than 10 per cent of pharmacists working in pharmacies and drug stores are graduates of governmentrecognised colleges.
Most Yemeni pharmacists are dissatisfied with their work conditions and opportunities.
Medicines are expensive and hard to access in Yemen, and counterfeit medicines are a serious problem.
Few regulations and standards exist for pharmacists and pharmaceutical care.
Pharmaceutical marketing plays an important role in marketing and selling products in Yemen.
A dearth of standards, regulations, and laws are hurting pharmacy practice in the country and potentially endangering peoples’ lives.
In order to improve pharmacy practice in Yemen, many changes are needed, including updating the pharmacy curriculum taught, implementing industry standards for pharmacy practice, implementing and reinforcing laws, and integrating pharmacists more fully in the healthcare industry. Additionally, the quality of the pharmacy workforce needs to be improved, and there needs to be increased awareness by the public, physicians, other healthcare professionals, and policy makers about the value of pharmacists.
Pharmacy practice; workforce; satisfaction; challenges; recommendations and Yemen
By 2013 Palliative Care will become a mandatory examination subject in the medical curriculum in Germany. There is a pressing need for effective and well-designed curricula and assessment methods. Debates are on going as how Undergraduate Palliative Care Education (UPCE) should be taught and how knowledge and skills should be assessed. It is evident by this time that the development process of early curricula in the US and UK has led to a plethora of diverse curricula which seem to be partly ineffective in improving the care for the seriously ill and dying offered by newly qualified doctors, as is demonstrated in controlled evaluations. The goals of this study were to demonstrate an evidence-based approach towards developing UPCE curricula and investigate the change in medical students’ self-perceived readiness to deal with palliative care patients and their families.
To evaluate the effects of the UPCE curriculum we chose a prospective, controlled, quasi-experimental, pre, retrospective-pre, post study design. A total of n = 37 3rd and 4th –year medical students were assigned to the intervention group (n = 15; 4th -year) and to the control group (n = 22; 3rd-year). Resting on the self-efficacy concept of Bandura the measurement was conducted by a refined test-battery based on two independent measurements (the revised Collet-Lester-Fear-of-Death-Scale and the instrument of the “Program in Palliative Care Education and Practice” at Harvard Medical School) including 68 items altogether in a five-point Likert-scale. These items were designed to test elementary skills in caring for the dying and their relatives as perceived by medical undergraduates. Datasets from both groups were analysed by paired and independent two-sample t-test. The TREND statement for reporting non-randomized evaluations was applied for reporting on this quasi-experimental study.
Three constructs showed statistically significant differences comparing the intervention group before and after. Willingness to accompany a dying patient increased from 21.40 to 37.30 (p < .001). Self-estimation of competence in communication with dying patients and their relatives increased from 12.00 to 23.60 (p = .001). Finally, self-estimation of knowledge and skills in Palliative Care increased from 8.30 to 13.20 (p = .001).
This study is a small but systematic step towards rigorous curricular development in palliative care. Our manualised curriculum is available for scrutiny and scientific feedback to support an open and constructive process of best-practice comparison in palliative care.
To assess the train-the-trainer component of an initiative (Partners in D) to train pharmacy students to facilitate patient enrollment in the best Medicare Part D prescription drug plan (Part D).
Faculty members from 6 California colleges or schools of pharmacy were taught how to train pharmacy students about Medicare Part D and how to conduct outreach events targeting underserved patient populations. A preintervention and postintervention survey instrument was administered to determine participants' (1) knowledge of the Part D program; (2) skill using the Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Finder tool; and (3) confidence in their ability to train pharmacy students. Implementation of the Partners in D curriculum in faculty members' colleges or schools of pharmacy was also determined.
Participants' knowledge of Part D, mastery of the Plan Finder, and confidence in teaching the material to pharmacy students all significantly improved. Within 8 weeks following the program, 5 of 6 colleges or schools of pharmacy adopted Partners in D coursework and initiated teaching the Partners-in-D curriculum. Four months afterwards, 21 outreach events reaching 186 Medicare beneficiaries had been completed.
The train-the-trainer component of the Partners in D program is practical and effective, and merits serious consideration as a national model for educating patients about Medicare Part D.
Medicare Part D; Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Finder; train-the-trainer; faculty development