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1.  Pharmacoeconomic Education in Egyptian Schools of Pharmacy 
Objective. To investigate the status of pharmacoeconomics education in Egyptian schools of pharmacy and compile and construct recommendations on how Egypt and similar countries could improve their educational infrastructure in pharmacoeconomics.
Methods. A modified version of a published survey instrument was sent to all schools of pharmacy in Egypt (n= 24). The data were assessed to identify associations between offering pharmacoeconomics education and school characteristics.
Results. Usable responses were obtained from 20 schools (response rate: 83%). Only 7 schools offered pharmacoeconomics education, with a median of 20 teaching hours per semester. Among respondents, 4 schools had instructors with some training in pharmacoeconomics and only 1 school had a faculty member with PhD-level training. Only 4 schools offered graduate-level courses in pharmacoeconomics. Eight additional schools expressed interest in teaching pharmacoeconomics in the near future. Having 1 or more faculty members with training in pharmacoeconomics was significantly associated with offering pharmacoeconomics education (p = 0.03).
Conclusions. Pharmacoeconomics education in Egypt is still in its infancy and there exists a unique opportunity for well-trained instructors and researchers to fill this gap. Providing structured pharmacoeconomics education to student pharmacists, researchers, and stakeholders can help countries establish an integrated scientific community that can start applying pharmacoeconomic evidence to healthcare decision-making.
PMCID: PMC3631732  PMID: 23610475
pharmacoeconomics; education; Egypt; curriculum
2.  Pharmacoeconomics Education in US Colleges and Schools of Pharmacy 
Objective. To determine the extent of pharmacoeconomics education in US colleges and schools of pharmacy provided to doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) students in 2011.
Methods. E-mails requesting syllabi and information about courses covering pharmacoeconomic topics were sent to all US colleges and schools of pharmacy from which PharmD students had graduated in 2011 (n=103).
Results. Of 87 responding pharmacy colleges and schools, 85 provided pharmacoeconomics education in 2011. The number of hours dedicated to pharmacoeconomic-related topics varied from 2 to 60 per year (mean=20).
Conclusions. Pharmacoeconomics education is provided at almost all US colleges and schools of pharmacy; however, variation in the number of teaching hours and topics covered demonstrates a lack of standardization in the PharmD curriculum. Pharmacy administrators and educators should invest more resources and tools to standardize training in this area.
PMCID: PMC3776899  PMID: 24052648
pharmacoeconomics; pharmacy education; curriculum
3.  Mental Health and Psychiatric Pharmacy Instruction in US Colleges and Schools of Pharmacy 
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.
PMCID: PMC1847556  PMID: 17429504
psychiatric pharmacy; pharmacy education; curriculum; mental health
4.  Pharmacoepidemiology Education in US Colleges and Schools of Pharmacy 
To examine the type and extent of pharmacoepidemiology education offered by US colleges and schools of pharmacy.
An electronic Web-survey was sent to all 89 US colleges and schools of pharmacy between October 2005 and January 2006 to examine the type and extent of pharmacoepidemiology education offered to professional (PharmD) and graduate (MS/PhD) students.
The response rate was 100%. Of the 89 schools surveyed, 69 (78%) provided pharmacoepidemiology education to their professional students. A mean of 119 (±60) PharmD students per college/school per year received some pharmacoepidemiology education (range 1-60 classroom hours; median 10 hours). Thirty-five schools (39%) provided education to a mean of 6 (±5) graduate students (range 2-135 classroom hours; median 15 hours).
A majority of US colleges and schools of pharmacy offer some pharmacoepidemiology education in their curriculum. However, the topics offered by each school and number of classroom hours varied at both the professional and graduate level.
PMCID: PMC1959224  PMID: 17786268
pharmacoepidemiology; epidemiology; curriculum
5.  The role of pharmacoeconomics in formulary decision making in different hospitals in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia 
To assess the trend of using pharmacoeconomic information by Pharmacy and Therapeutics (P&T) committees when making formulary decisions.
A cross-sectional study conducted in 2007, using structured survey questionnaires which were distributed to members of the P&T committees in 11 different hospitals in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
A total of 100 survey questionnaires were sent to head of pharmacy departments of 11 different hospitals in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Out of these, 48 questionnaires were completed and returned. Of the total respondents participated in the study, 64.58% were medical doctors and 16.66% were pharmacists and 75% of the respondents said they have applied pharmacoeconomic evaluations in their decision making process. More than 80% of the respondents perceived that they had a fair knowledge of pharmacoeconomics. Approximately 80% of respondents expressed some degree of agreement that pharmacoeconomics should be applied as a decision making tool. The majority of decision-makers (95%) expressed the interest in attending workshops on pharmacoeconomics.
The study showed that pharmacoeconomics can play an important role in the P&T committee formulary decisions. However, more education to health care professionals and to hospital administrators should be conducted to facilitate the use of such a tool. Also, hospitals should recruit health care professionals with pharmacoeconomic expertise to manage limited health resources in the best way available.
PMCID: PMC3744944  PMID: 23960742
Pharmacoeconomics; Formulary decision; Pharmacy and Therapeutics committees; Saudi Arabia
6.  A Required Course in the Development, Implementation, and Evaluation of Clinical Pharmacy Services 
To develop, implement, and assess a required pharmacy practice course to prepare pharmacy students to develop, implement, and evaluate clinical pharmacy services using a business plan model.
Course content centered around the process of business planning and pharmacoeconomic evaluations. Selected business planning topics included literature evaluation, mission statement development, market evaluation, policy and procedure development, and marketing strategy. Selected pharmacoeconomic topics included cost-minimization analysis, cost-benefit analysis, cost-effectiveness analysis, cost-utility analysis, and health-related quality of life (HRQoL). Assessment methods included objective examinations, student participation, performance on a group project, and peer evaluation.
One hundred fifty-three students were enrolled in the course. The mean scores on the objective examinations (100 points per examination) ranged from 82 to 85 points, with 25%-35% of students in the class scoring over 90, and 40%-50% of students scoring from 80 to 89. The mean scores on the group project (200 points) and classroom participation (50 points) were 183.5 and 46.1, respectively. The mean score on the peer evaluation was 30.8, with scores ranging from 27.5 to 31.7.
The course provided pharmacy students with the framework necessary to develop and implement evidence-based disease management programs and to assure efficient, cost-effective utilization of pertinent resources in the provision of patient care.
PMCID: PMC2630134  PMID: 19214263
clinical pharmacy services; pharmacoeconomics; business plan
7.  Variety and Quantity of Professional Electives 
Objectives. To compare the elective courses offered by US colleges and schools of pharmacy to establish a benchmark for individual colleges and schools to use in assessing whether they offer a sufficient amount and variety of electives.
Methods. Internet Web sites of US doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) programs were reviewed to identify the number of elective lecture-based courses and elective advanced pharmacy practice experiences (APPE) offered and required. Elective courses were grouped into categories to determine the variety of offerings.
Results. Pharmacy students were required to complete a mean of 7 hours of classroom-based elective courses. Thirty-two lecture-based elective courses were offered per college or school, and the mean number of categories of courses offered was 24. An average of 3 required APPEs was offered within 24 categories.
Conclusions. Pharmacy programs varied in the number of and requirements for elective courses. Most elective courses expanded on what was taught in the required curriculum vs informing on unique concepts or skills.
PMCID: PMC3530057  PMID: 23275660
elective course; curriculum; pharmacy practice experiences
8.  Teaching Evaluation Practices in Colleges and Schools of Pharmacy 
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.
PMCID: PMC2769525  PMID: 19885072
teaching; evaluation; assessment; survey
9.  Therapeutic Lifestyle Strategies Taught in U.S. Pharmacy Schools 
Preventing Chronic Disease  2007;4(4):A96.
Several organizations representing pharmacy and other health professions stress the importance of teaching public health topics as part of training future practitioners. The objective of our study was to assess the number of U.S. pharmacy schools that incorporate lifestyle modification topics into their curricula.
We developed an electronic survey on lifestyle modification topics and sent it to each of the 89 pharmacy schools in the United States. The survey defined lifestyle modification topics as topics that address nutrition, exercise, weight loss, smoking cessation, and alcohol use.
Of 89 pharmacy schools contacted, 50 (56%) responded to the survey. Of the 50, four offer at least one required course in a lifestyle modification topic, seven offer at least one elective course, and one offers a required course that incorporates more than one lifestyle modification topic. Five required and nine elective courses were identified from the responses. Nutrition was the most commonly offered required course topic, followed by smoking cessation, exercise, weight loss, and alcohol use.
Few pharmacy schools are addressing recommendations to promote public health education through formalized didactic courses. More courses on lifestyle modification topics should be offered to pharmacy students, who will be highly accessible to the public as pharmacists and will be able to offer education to enhance public health focused on the prevention of chronic diseases.
PMCID: PMC2099294  PMID: 17875271
10.  Pharmacy cases in Second Life: an elective course 
Interactive pharmacy case studies are an essential component of the pharmacy curriculum. We recently developed an elective course at the Rangel College of Pharmacy in pharmacy case studies for second- and third-year Doctor of Pharmacy students using Second Life® (SL), an interactive three-dimensional virtual environment that simulates the real world. This course explored the use of SL for education and training in pharmacy, emphasizing a case-based approach. Virtual worlds such as SL promote inquiry-based learning and conceptual understanding, and can potentially develop problem-solving skills in pharmacy students. Students were presented ten case scenarios that primarily focused on drug safety and effective communication with patients. Avatars, representing instructors and students, reviewed case scenarios during sessions in a virtual classroom. Individually and in teams, students participated in active-learning activities modeling both the pharmacist’s and patient’s roles. Student performance and learning were assessed based on SL class participation, activities, assignments, and two formal, essay-type online exams in Blackboard 9. Student course-evaluation results indicated favorable perceptions of content and delivery. Student comments included an enhanced appreciation of practical issues in pharmacy practice, flexibility of attendance, and an increased ability to focus on course content. Excellent student participation and performance in weekly active-learning activities translated into positive performance on subsequent formal assessments. Students were actively engaged and exposed to topics pertinent to pharmacy practice that were not covered in the required pharmacy curriculum. The multiple active-learning assignments were successful in increasing students’ knowledge, and provided additional practice in building the communication skills beneficial for students preparing for experiential clinical rotations.
PMCID: PMC3650877  PMID: 23762008
Second Life; virtual worlds; pharmacy case studies; computer simulation; health education; pharmacy education
11.  Use of Adjunct Faculty Members in Classroom Teaching in Departments of Pharmacy Practice 
Objective. To determine trends among departments of pharmacy practice regarding use of adjunct faculty members for classroom-based teaching and to assess departmental support provided to these faculty members.
Methods. Chairs of pharmacy practice departments in US colleges and school of pharmacy were contacted by e-mail and asked to complete an 11-item electronic survey instrument.
Results. Chair respondents reported an average of 5.7 adjunct faculty members hired to teach required courses and 1.8 adjunct faculty members hired to teach elective courses. Compensation averaged $108 per lecture hour and $1,257 per 1-credit-hour course. Twenty-five percent of the respondents expected to hire more adjunct faculty members to teach required courses in the upcoming year due to curricular changes, faculty hiring freezes, and the shortage of full-time faculty members. Only 7% of respondents reported that they provided a teaching mentor and 14% offered no support to their adjunct faculty members.
Conclusions. Departments of pharmacy practice commonly use adjunct faculty members to teach required and elective courses. Given the pharmacy faculty shortage, this trend is expected to increase and may be an area for future faculty development.
PMCID: PMC3175648  PMID: 21969715
adjunct faculty; faculty; teaching
12.  Drug Information Education in Doctor of Pharmacy Programs 
To characterize pharmacy program standards and trends in drug information education.
A questionnaire containing 34 questions addressing general demographic characteristics, organization, and content of drug information education was distributed to 86 colleges and schools of pharmacy in the United States using a Web-based survey system.
Sixty colleges responded (73% response rate). All colleges offered a campus-based 6-year first-professional degree PharmD program. Didactic drug information was a required course in over 70% of these schools. Only 51 of the 60 colleges offered an advanced pharmacy practice experience (APPE) in drug information, and 62% of these did so only on an elective basis.
Although almost all of the PharmD programs in the US include a required course in drug information, the majority do not have a required APPE in this important area.
PMCID: PMC1636960  PMID: 17136172
drug information; course; curriculum; pharmacy education; experiential training; advanced pharmacy practice experience
13.  Pharmacogenomics in the Curricula of Colleges and Schools of Pharmacy in the United States 
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.
PMCID: PMC2829155  PMID: 20221358
pharmacogenomics education; pharmacogenetics education; curriculum
14.  Methods for the comparative evaluation of pharmaceuticals 
Political background
As a German novelty, the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (Institut für Qualität und Wirtschaftlichkeit im Gesundheitswesen; IGWiG) was established in 2004 to, among other tasks, evaluate the benefit of pharmaceuticals. In this context it is of importance that patented pharmaceuticals are only excluded from the reference pricing system if they offer a therapeutic improvement.
The institute is commissioned by the Federal Joint Committee (Gemeinsamer Bundesausschuss, G-BA) or by the Ministry of Health and Social Security. The German policy objective expressed by the latest health care reform (Gesetz zur Modernisierung der Gesetzlichen Krankenversicherung, GMG) is to base decisions on a scientific assessment of pharmaceuticals in comparison to already available treatments. However, procedures and methods are still to be established.
Research questions and methods
This health technology assessment (HTA) report was commissioned by the German Agency for HTA at the Institute for Medical Documentation and Information (DAHTA@DIMDI). It analysed criteria, procedures, and methods of comparative drug assessment in other EU-/OECD-countries. The research question was the following: How do national public institutions compare medicines in connection with pharmaceutical regulation, i.e. licensing, reimbursement and pricing of drugs?
Institutions as well as documents concerning comparative drug evaluation (e.g. regulations, guidelines) were identified through internet, systematic literature, and hand searches. Publications were selected according to pre-defined inclusion and exclusion criteria. Documents were analysed in a qualitative matter following an analytic framework that had been developed in advance. Results were summarised narratively and presented in evidence tables.
Results and discussion
Currently licensing agencies do not systematically assess a new drug's added value for patients and society. This is why many countries made post-licensing evaluation of pharmaceuticals a requirement for reimbursement or pricing decisions. Typically an explicitly designated drug review body is involved.
In all eleven countries included (Austria, Australia, Canada, Switzerland, Finland, France, the Netherlands, Norway, New Zealand, Sweden, and the United Kingdom) a drug's therapeutic benefit in comparison to treatment alternatives is leading the evaluation. A medicine is classified as a therapeutic improvement if it demonstrates an improved benefit-/risk-profile compared to treatment alternatives. However, evidence of superiority to a relevant degree is requested.
Health related quality of life is considered as the most appropriate criterion for a drug's added value from patients' perspective. Review bodies in Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom have committed themselves to include this outcome measure whenever possible.
Pharmacological or innovative characteristics (e.g. administration route, dosage regime, new acting principle) and other advantages (e.g. taste, appearance) are considered in about half of the countries. However, in most cases these aspects rank as second line criteria for a drug's added value.
All countries except France and Switzerland perform a comparative pharmacoeconomic evaluation to analyse costs caused by a drug intervention in relation to its benefit (preferably by cost utility analysis). However, the question if a medicine is cost effective in relation to treatment alternatives is answered in a political and social context. A range of remarkably varying criteria are considered.
Countries agree that randomised controlled head-to-head trials (head-to-head RCT) with a high degree of internal and external validity provide the most reliable and least biased evidence of a drug's relative treatment effects (as do systematic reviews and meta-analyses of these RCT). Final outcome parameters reflecting long-term treatment objectives (mortality, morbidity, quality of life) are preferred to surrogate parameters. Following the concept of community effectiveness, drug review institutions also explicitly favour RCT in a "natural" design, i.e. in daily routine and country specific care settings.
The countries' requirements for pharmacoeconomic studies are similar despite some methodological inconsistencies, e.g. concerning cost calculation.
Outcomes of clinical and pharmacoeconomic analyses are largely determined by the choice of comparator. Selecting an appropriate comparative treatment is therefore crucial. In theory, the best or most cost effective therapy is regarded as appropriate comparator for clinical and economic studies. Pragmatically however, institutions accept that the drug is compared to the treatment of daily routine or to the least expensive therapy.
If a pharmaceutical offers several approved indications, in some countries all of them are assessed. Others only evaluate a drug's main indication. Canada is the only country which also considers a medicine's off-label use.
It is well known that clinical trials and pharmacoeconomic studies directly comparing a drug with adequate competitors are lacking - in quantitative as well as in qualitative terms. This is specifically the case before or shortly after marketing authorisation. Yet there is the need to support reimbursement or pricing decisions by scientific evidence. In this situation review bodies are often forced to rely on observational studies or on other internally less valid data (including expert and consensus opinions). As a second option they use statistical approaches like indirect adjusted comparisons (in Australia and the United Kingdom) and, commonly, economic modelling. However, there is consensus that results provided by these techniques need to be verified by valid head-to-head comparisons as soon as possible.
In the majority of countries reimbursement and pricing decisions are based on systematic and evidence-based evaluation comparing a drug's clinical and economic characteristics to daily treatment routine. However, further evaluation criteria, requirements and specific methodological issues still lack internationally consented standards.
PMCID: PMC3011319  PMID: 21289930
15.  Rural Health in Pharmacy Curricula 
The 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act proposes strategies to address the workforce shortages of primary care practitioners in rural America. This review addresses the question, “What specialized education and training are colleges and schools of pharmacy providing for graduates who wish to enter pharmacy practice in rural health?” All colleges and schools accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education or those in precandidate status as of December 2011 were included in an Internet-based review of Web sites. A wide scope of curricular offerings were found, ranging from no description of courses or experiences in a rural setting to formally developed programs in rural pharmacy. Although the number of pharmacy colleges and schools providing either elective or required courses in rural health is encouraging, more education and training with this focus are needed to help overcome the unmet need for quality pharmacy care for rural populations.
PMCID: PMC3508494  PMID: 23193344
rural health; pharmacy curriculum; underserved; experiential
16.  Active-Learning Processes Used in US Pharmacy Education 
To document the type and extent of active-learning techniques used in US colleges and schools of pharmacy as well as factors associated with use of these techniques.
A survey instrument was developed to assess whether and to what extent active learning was used by faculty members of US colleges and schools of pharmacy. This survey instrument was distributed via the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) mailing list.
Ninety-five percent (114) of all US colleges and schools of pharmacy were represented with at least 1 survey among the 1179 responses received. Eighty-seven percent of respondents used active-learning techniques in their classroom activities. The heavier the teaching workload the more active-learning strategies were used. Other factors correlated with higher use of active-learning strategies included younger faculty member age (inverse relationship), lower faculty member rank (inverse relationship), and departments that focused on practice, clinical and social, behavioral, and/or administrative sciences.
Active learning has been embraced by pharmacy educators and is used to some extent by the majority of US colleges and schools of pharmacy. Future research should focus on how active-learning methods can be used most effectively within pharmacy education, how it can gain even broader acceptance throughout the academy, and how the effect of active learning on programmatic outcomes can be better documented.
PMCID: PMC3138343  PMID: 21769144
pharmacy education; active learning; teaching; survey
17.  Educating Pharmacy Students to Improve Quality (EPIQ) in Colleges and Schools of Pharmacy 
Objective. To assess course instructors’ and students’ perceptions of the Educating Pharmacy Students and Pharmacists to Improve Quality (EPIQ) curriculum.
Methods. Seven colleges and schools of pharmacy that were using the EPIQ program in their curricula agreed to participate in the study. Five of the 7 collected student retrospective pre- and post-intervention questionnaires. Changes in students’ perceptions were evaluated to assess their relationships with demographics and course variables. Instructors who implemented the EPIQ program at each of the 7 colleges and schools were also asked to complete a questionnaire.
Results. Scores on all questionnaire items indicated improvement in students’ perceived knowledge of quality improvement. The university the students attended, completion of a class project, and length of coverage of material were significantly related to improvement in the students’ scores. Instructors at all colleges and schools felt the EPIQ curriculum was a strong program that fulfilled the criteria for quality improvement and medication error reduction education.
Conclusion The EPIQ program is a viable, turnkey option for colleges and schools of pharmacy to use in teaching students about quality improvement.
PMCID: PMC3425924  PMID: 22919085
quality improvement; medication error; pharmacy education; pharmacy student; assessment; curriculum
18.  Bioidentical hormone therapy: Nova Scotia pharmacists' knowledge and beliefs 
Pharmacy Practice  2012;10(3):159-167.
To investigate Nova Scotia (NS) pharmacists' knowledge and beliefs regarding the use of bioidentical hormones (BHs) for the management of menopause related symptoms.
Using Dillman’s tailored design methodology, an invitation to complete the web-based questionnaire was emailed to pharmacists in NS as part of the Dalhousie College of Pharmacy Continuing Pharmacy Education Department's (CPE) weekly email update. Data was analyzed using descriptive statistics.
Of approximately 1300 e-mails sent, 113 pharmacists completed the questionnaire (response rate 8.7%). The majority of respondents (94%) knew that BHs were not free from adverse drug reactions. More than 50% were aware that conjugated equine estrogens and medroxyprogesterone acetate were not examples of BHs. For seven of eleven knowledge questions, 33-45% indicated that they did not know the answer. When asked about their beliefs regarding BHs, many believed that BHs were similar in efficacy (49%) or more effective (21%) than conventional hormone therapy (CHT) for vasomotor symptoms. Most respondents also believed that both BHs and CHT had similar safety profiles. Additionally, responding pharmacists indicated that more education would be helpful, especially in the area of safety and efficacy of BHTs compared to CHT.
NS pharmacists knew BHs were not free of adverse effects, however knowledge was lacking in other areas. This may reflect the level of coverage of this topic in pharmacy school curriculums and in the pharmacy literature. Results indicate a need for additional education of NS pharmacists with respect to BHs, which could be accomplished through modification of undergraduate pharmacy programs and supplementary CPE.
PMCID: PMC3780489  PMID: 24155832
Pharmacists; Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice; Estradiol Congeners; Menopause; Canada
19.  Education in sleep disorders in US dental schools DDS programs 
Medical school surveys of pre-doctoral curriculum hours in the somnology, the study of sleep, and its application in sleep medicine/sleep disorders (SM) show slow progress. Limited information is available regarding dentist training. This study assessed current pre-doctoral dental education in the field of somnology with the hypothesis that increased curriculum hours are being devoted to SM but that competencies are still lacking.
Materials and methods
The 58 US dental schools were surveyed for curriculum offered in SM in the 2008/2009 academic year using an eight-topic, 52-item questionnaire mailed to the deans. Two new dental schools with interim accreditation had not graduated a class and were not included. Responses were received from 49 of 56 (87.5%) of the remaining schools.
Results and Conclusions
Results showed 75.5% of responding US dental schools reported some teaching time in SM in their pre-doctoral dental program with curriculum hours ranging from 0 to 15 h: 12 schools spent 0 h (24.5%), 26 schools 1–3 h, 5 schools 4–6 h, 3 schools 7–10 h, and 3 schools >10 h. The average number of educational hours was 3.92 h for the schools with curriculum time in SM, (2.96 across all 49 responding schools). The most frequently covered topics included sleep-related breathing disorders (32 schools) and sleep bruxism (31 schools). Although 3.92 h is an improvement from the mean 2.5 h last reported, the absolute number of curriculum hours given the epidemic scope of sleep problems still appears insufficient in most schools to achieve any competency in screening for SRBD, or sufficient foundation for future involvement in treatment.
PMCID: PMC3306848  PMID: 21523492
Dental school somnology education; Teaching sleep medicine; Competency; Sleep bruxism; Sleep-related breathing disorder; Oral appliance therapy
20.  The Science of Safety Curriculum in US Colleges and Schools of Pharmacy 
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.
PMCID: PMC3175655  PMID: 21969727
medication safety; pharmacy education; curriculum; science of safety
21.  Does self-reflection and peer-assessment improve Saudi pharmacy students’ academic performance and metacognitive skills? 
Background: The patient-centered focus of clinical pharmacy practice which demands nuanced application of specialized knowledge and skills targeted to meeting patient-specific therapeutic needs warrant that the training strategy used for PharmD graduates must empower with the ability to use the higher level cognitive processes and critical thinking effectively in service delivery. However, the historical disposition to learning in the Middle East and among Saudi students appeared heavily focused on rote memorization and recall of memorized facts. Objectives: To assess the impact of active pedagogic strategies such as self-reflection and peer assessment on pharmacy students’ academic performance and metacognitive skills, and evaluate students’ feedback on the impact of these active pedagogic strategies on their overall learning experience. Method: An exploratory prospective cohort study was conducted among 4th year students at the College of Clinical Pharmacy, King Faisal University, Saudi Arabia to assess the impact of self-reflection and peer-assessment in a semester-wide assessment tasks in two compulsory first semester 4th year courses (Therapeutics-3 and Pharmacoeconomics). An end-of-course evaluation survey with a pre-tested 5-item open-ended questionnaire was also conducted to evaluate students’ feedback on the impact of active pedagogic strategies on their overall learning experience. Result: Male students (study group) constituted 40.7% of the cohort while 59.3% were females (control group) with mean ± SD age of 23.2 ± 5.6 and 22.1 ± 4.9 years respectively. The mean ± SD scores for quizzes, mid-term and final exams, and the overall percentage pass were significantly higher in the study group for both courses (P < 0.001). The majority of the students in the study group opined that the exposure to active pedagogic strategies enabled them to improve their use of critical thinking, facilitated deeper engagement with their learning and improved their clinical decision-making and discussion skills. Conclusion: The use of active pedagogic strategies such as self-reflection and peer-assessment appeared to significantly improve examination performance, facilitate deep and constructive engagement with learning and fostered students’ confidence in the use of critical thinking and clinical decision-making.
PMCID: PMC4475852  PMID: 26106275
Self-reflection; Peer-assessment; Metacognition; Active pedagogic strategies; Saudi Arabia
22.  Portfolio Use and Practices in US Colleges and Schools of Pharmacy 
Objectives. To identify the prevalence of portfolio use in US pharmacy programs, common components of portfolios, and advantages of and limitations to using portfolios.
Methods. A cross-sectional electronic survey instrument was sent to experiential coordinators at US colleges and schools of pharmacy to collect data on portfolio content, methods, training and resource requirements, and benefits and challenges of portfolio use.
Results. Most colleges and schools of pharmacy (61.8%) use portfolios in experiential courses and the majority (67.1%) formally assess them, but there is wide variation regarding content and assessment. The majority of respondents used student portfolios as a formative evaluation primarily in the experiential curriculum.
Conclusions. Although most colleges and schools of pharmacy have a portfolio system in place, few are using them to fulfill accreditation requirements. Colleges and schools need to carefully examine the intended purpose of their portfolio system and follow-through with implementation and maintenance of a system that meets their goals.
PMCID: PMC3327244  PMID: 22544963
portfolio; assessment; evaluation; competency achievement; pharmacy practice experiences; pharmacy education
23.  Survey of Colleges of Pharmacy to Assess Preparation for and Promotion of Residency Training 
To assess the prevalence of curricular programs or other structured activities designed to prepare students for and to promote residency training.
An electronic survey instrument containing 12 questions regarding institutional demographics and activities related to pharmacy student preparation for residency training was sent to administrators of all US colleges and schools of pharmacy.
Ninety-one survey instruments were e-mailed to US colleges and schools of pharmacy administrators, and an overall response rate of 78% was attained. Twenty-two percent of respondents identified a structured curricular program to prepare students for postgraduate training. In addition, informal programs or informational sessions varying in scope and content were offered by many colleges and schools to prepare students for residency training.
Many of the US colleges and schools of pharmacy reported structured activities or programs that promote residency training to students. Ten programs had a designated clinical-track curriculum.
PMCID: PMC2865409  PMID: 20498736
students; curriculum; residency; survey
24.  Interprofessional Education in Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experiences at US Colleges and Schools of Pharmacy 
Objective. To assess the extent to which US colleges and schools of pharmacy are incorporating interprofessional education into their introductory pharmacy practice experiences (IPPEs), and to identify barriers to implementation; characterize the format, structure, and assessment; and identify factors associated with incorporating interprofessional education in IPPEs.
Methods. An electronic survey of 116 US colleges and schools of pharmacy was conducted from March 2011 through May 2011.
Results. Interprofessional education is a stated curricular goal in 78% of colleges and schools and consistently occurred in IPPEs in 55%. Most colleges and schools that included interprofessional education in IPPEs (70%) used subjective measures to assess competencies, while 17.5% used standardized outcomes assessment instruments. Barriers cited by respondents from colleges and schools that had not implemented interprofessional education in IPPEs included a lack of access to sufficient healthcare facilities with interprofessional education opportunities (57%) and a lack of required personnel resources (52%).
Conclusions. Many US colleges and schools of pharmacy have incorporated interprofessional education into their IPPEs, but there is a need for further expansion of interprofessional education and better assessment related to achievement of interprofessional education competencies in IPPEs.
PMCID: PMC3386031  PMID: 22761521
interprofessional education; interdisciplinary education; introductory pharmacy practice experiences; experiential education
25.  A Distance Education Course in Statistics 
To evaluate the learning outcomes of an online, distance education course in statistics for doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) students.
Lectures for the course were produced by the course faculty, converted into digital format (mp4), placed within the college's course management system, and video streamed to students. The course required students to interact with the course content using workbooks and simulations and with the instructor via VoIP examination reviews.
A quasi-experimental study involving 4 groups of students was conducted. Second-year (P2) students were assigned randomly to 1 of 3 groups and asked to complete a precourse survey that contained: demographic information only (group 1); demographic items plus 10 items assessing statistics knowledge (group 2); or demographic items plus 20 items assessing statistics knowledge (group 3). At the end of the course, all students were given the same 20 items on the final examination (postcourse survey instrument). A control group consisting of randomly selected first-year (P1) students completed the 20-item precourse survey instrument. P1 and P2 students' scores on the 20-item precourse survey were not significantly different. Students who had taken a statistics course before entering the PharmD program scored higher on the precourse survey. P2 students in all 3 study groups had similar scores on the final examination (postcourse survey) (p = 0.43).
Students can be taught the basic principles of statistics and how to use statistics to read the pharmacy and medical literature entirely online. This study has significant implications for how classes traditionally taught in the classroom might be taught at a distance using innovative instructional technologies.
PMCID: PMC2996762  PMID: 21301606
distance education; statistics; online learning

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