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.
quality improvement; medication error; pharmacy education; pharmacy student; assessment; curriculum
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 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
The use of medicines is an essential component of many public health programs (PHPs). Medicines are important not only for their capacity to treat and prevent diseases. The public confidence in healthcare system is inevitably linked to their confidence in the availability of safe and effective medicines and the measures for ensuring their rational use. However, pharmacy services component receives little or no attention in most public health programs in developing countries. This article describes the strategies, lessons learnt, and some accomplishments of Howard University Pharmacists and Continuing Education (HU-PACE) Centre towards improving hospital pharmacy practice through PHP in Nigeria.
In a cross-sectional survey, 60 hospital pharmacies were randomly selected from 184 GHAIN-supported health facilities. The assessment was conducted at baseline and repeated after at least 12 months post-intervention using a study-specific instrument. Interventions included engagement of stakeholders; provision of standards for infrastructural upgrade; development of curricula and modules for training of pharmacy personnel; provision of job aids and tools amongst others. A follow-up hands-on skill enhancement based on identified gaps was conducted. Chi-square was used for inferential statistics. All reported p-values were 2-tailed at 95% confidence interval.
The mean duration of service provision at post-intervention assessment was 24.39 (95% CI, 21.70–27.08) months. About 16.7% of pharmacies reported been trained in HIV care at pre-intervention compared to 83.3% at post-intervention. The proportion of pharmacies with audio-visual privacy for patient counseling increased significantly from 30.9% at pre-intervention to 81.4% at post-intervention. Filled prescriptions were cross-checked by pharmacist (61.9%) and pharmacy technician (23.8%) before dispensing at pre-intervention compared to pharmacist (93.1%) and pharmacy technician (6.9%) at post intervention. 40.0% of pharmacies reported tracking consumption of drugs at pre-intervention compared to 98.3% at post-intervention; while 81.7% of pharmacies reported performing periodic stock reconciliation at pre-intervention compared to 100.0% at post-intervention. 36.5% of pharmacies were observed providing individual counseling on medication use to patients at pre-intervention compared to 73.2% at post-intervention; and 11.7% of pharmacies had evidence of monitoring and reporting of suspected adverse drug reaction at pre-intervention compared to 73.3% at post-intervention. The institution of access to patients’ clinical information by pharmacists in all pharmacies at post-intervention was a paradigm shift.
Through public health program, HU-PACE created an enabling environment and improved capacity of pharmacy personnel for quality HIV/AIDS and TB services. This has contributed in diverse ways to better monitoring of patients on pharmacotherapy by pharmacists through access of pharmacists to patients’ clinical information.
Pharmaceutical care; HIV/AIDS; Public health programs; Patients; Nigeria
Objective. To assess the health-related quality of life (HRQoL) of student pharmacists and explore factors related to HRQoL outcomes of student pharmacists in a doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) program at a public university.
Methods. A survey instrument was administered to all student pharmacists in a PharmD program at a public university to evaluate differences and factors related to the HRQoL outcomes of first-year (P1), second-year (P2), third-year (P3), and fourth-year (P4) student pharmacists in the college. The survey instrument included attitudes and academic-related self-perception, a 12-item short form health survey, and personal information components.
Results. There were 304 students (68.6%) who completed the survey instrument. The average health state classification measure and mental health component scale (MCS-12) scores were significantly higher for P4 students when compared with the P1through P3 students. There was no difference observed in the physical component scale (PCS-12) scores among each of the 4 class years. Significant negative impact on HRQoL outcomes was observed in students with higher levels of confusion about how they should study (scale lack of regulation) and concern about not being negatively perceived by others (self-defeating ego orientation), while school satisfaction increased HRQoL outcomes (SF-6D, p<0.001; MCS-12, p=0.013). A greater desire to be judged capable (self-enhancing ego-orientation) and career satisfaction were positively associated with the PCS-12 scores (p<0.05).
Conclusion. Factors associated with the HRQoL of student pharmacists were confusion regarding how to study, ego orientation, satisfaction with the chosen college of pharmacy, and career satisfaction. First-year through third-year student pharmacists had lower HRQoL as compared with P4 students and the US general population. Support programs may be helpful for students to maintain or improve their mental and overall health.
health-related quality of life; student pharmacists; perceived self-efficacy; ego-orientation
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
Websites of many rogue sellers of medications are accessible through links in email spam messages or via web search engines. This study examined how well students enrolled in a U.S. higher education institution could identify clearly unsafe pharmacies.
The aim is to estimate these health consumers´ vulnerability to fraud by illegitimate Internet pharmacies.
Two Internet pharmacy websites, created specifically for this study, displayed multiple untrustworthy features modeled after five actual Internet drug sellers which the authors considered to be potentially dangerous to consumers. The websites had none of the safe pharmacy signs and nearly all of the danger signs specified in the Food and Drug Administration´s (FDA´s) guide to consumers. Participants were told that a neighborhood pharmacy charged US$165 for a one-month supply of Beozine, a bogus drug to ensure no pre-existing knowledge. After checking its price at two Internet pharmacies—$37.99 in pharmacy A and $57.60 in pharmacy B—the respondents were asked to indicate if each seller was a good place to buy the drug. Responses came from 1,914 undergraduate students who completed an online eHealth literacy assessment in 2005-2008. Participation rate was 78%.
In response to "On a scale from 0-10, how good is this pharmacy as a place for buying Beozine?" many respondents gave favorable ratings. Specifically, 50% of students who reviewed pharmacy A and 37% of students who reviewed pharmacy B chose a rating above the scale midpoint. When explaining a low drug cost, these raters related it to low operation costs, ad revenue, pressure to lower costs due to comparison shopping, and/or high sales volume. Those who said that pharmacy A or B was "a very bad place" for purchasing the drug (25%), as defined by a score of 1 or less, related low drug cost to lack of regulation, low drug quality, and/or customer information sales. About 16% of students thought that people should be advised to buy cheaper drugs at pharmacies such as these but the majority (62%) suggested that people should be warned against buying drugs from such internet sellers. Over 22% of respondents would recommend pharmacy A to friends and family (10% pharmacy B). One-third of participants supplied online health information to others for decision-making purposes. After controlling for the effects of education, health major, and age, these respondents had significantly worse judgment of Internet pharmacies than those who did not act as information suppliers.
At least a quarter of students, including those in health programs, cannot see multiple signs of danger displayed by rogue Internet pharmacies. Many more are likely to be misled by online sellers that use professional design, veil untrustworthy features, and mimic reputable websites. Online health information consumers would benefit from education initiatives that (1) communicate why it can be dangerous to buy medications online and that (2) develop their information evaluation skills. This study highlights the importance of regulating rogue Internet pharmacies and curbing the danger they pose to consumers.
skill assessment,; health literacy; eHealth; health information skills; Internet pharmacies; counterfeit pharmaceuticals; cyberdrugs; cyberpharmacies
To describe the education, research, practice, and policy related to pharmacist interventions to improve medication adherence in community settings in the United States.
Authors used MEDLINE and International Pharmaceutical Abstracts (since 1990) to identify community and ambulatory pharmacy intervention studies which aimed to improve medication adherence. The authors also searched the primary literature using Ovid to identify studies related to the pharmacy teaching of medication adherence. The bibliographies of relevant studies were reviewed in order to identify additional literature. We searched the tables of content of three US pharmacy education journals and reviewed the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy website for materials on teaching adherence principles. Policies related to medication adherence were identified based on what was commonly known to the authors from professional experience, attendance at professional meetings, and pharmacy journals.
Research and Practice: 29 studies were identified: 18 randomized controlled trials; 3 prospective cohort studies; 2 retrospective cohort studies; 5 case-controlled studies; and one other study. There was considerable variability in types of interventions and use of adherence measures. Many of the interventions were completed by pharmacists with advanced clinical backgrounds and not typical of pharmacists in community settings. The positive intervention effects had either decreased or not been sustained after interventions were removed. Although not formally assessed, in general, the average community pharmacy did not routinely assess and/or intervene on medication adherence.
National pharmacy education groups support the need for pharmacists to learn and use adherence-related skills. Educational efforts involving adherence have focused on students’ awareness of adherence barriers and communication skills needed to engage patients in behavioral change.
Several changes in pharmacy practice and national legislation have provided pharmacists opportunities to intervene and monitor medication adherence. Some of these changes have involved the use of technologies and provision of specialized services to improve adherence.
Researchers and practitioners need to evaluate feasible and sustainable models for pharmacists in community settings to consistently and efficiently help patients better use their medications and improve their health outcomes.
Medication Adherence; Pharmacists; Education; Pharmacy; United States
Children warrant access to care from clinical pharmacists trained in pediatrics. The American College of Clinical Pharmacy Pediatrics Practice and Research Network (ACCP Pediatrics PRN) released an opinion paper in 2005 with recommendations for improving the quality and quantity of pediatric pharmacy education in colleges of pharmacy, residency programs, and fellowships. While progress has been made in increasing the availability of pediatric residencies, there is still much to be done to meet the direct care needs of pediatric patients. The purpose of this Joint Opinion paper is to outline strategies and recommendations for expanding the quality and capacity of pediatric clinical pharmacy practitioners by 1) elevating the minimum expectations for pharmacists entering practice to provide pediatric care; 2) standardizing pediatric pharmacy education; 3) expanding the current number of pediatric clinical pharmacists; and 4) creating an infrastructure for development of pediatric clinical pharmacists and clinical scientists. These recommendations may be used to provide both a conceptual framework and action items for schools of pharmacy, health care systems, and policymakers to work together to increase the quality and quantity of pediatric training, practice, or research initiatives.
fellowship; pediatric pharmacy; pharmacy education; standardization; residency
Formal guidelines for mentoring faculty members in pharmacy practice divisions of colleges and schools of pharmacy do not exist in the literature. This paper addresses the background literature on mentoring programs, explores the current state of mentoring programs used in pharmacy practice departments, and provides guidelines for colleges and schools instituting formal mentoring programs. As the number of pharmacy colleges and schools has grown, the demand for quality pharmacy faculty members has dramatically increased. While some faculty members gain teaching experience during postgraduate residency training, new pharmacy practice faculty members often need professional development to meet the demands of their academic responsibilities. A mentoring program can be 1 means of improving faculty success and retention. Many US colleges and schools of pharmacy have developed formal mentoring programs, whereas several others have informal processes in place. This paper discusses those programs and the literature available, and makes recommendations on the structure of mentoring programs.
mentoring; faculty development; mentor; pharmacy practice; faculty
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
The purpose of this article is to describe the experiential program created at the newly formed University of Hawai‘i at Hilo College of Pharmacy (UHH CoP). The Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience (IPPE) rotations were developed to prepare student pharmacists for their final year of Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience (APPE) rotations by improving clinical skills and patient interactions. In partnership with the John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) Department of Family Practice, physician and pharmacist teams collaborate to deliver patient care for chronic diseases and elevate educational opportunities provided by UHH CoP. Another goal of the experiential program is to determine whether the investment of pharmacist faculty and adjunct physician/nurse preceptors prepares students for the final year of APPE rotations. A survey was administered to non-faculty pharmacist preceptors who taught the third IPPE rotation during the summer of 2009. Twenty-nine surveys were received from six facilities on O‘ahu and the Big Island. Initial survey results revealed an overall rating average of 3.72 (Likert scale: 1-lowest to 5-highest), an average of 4.14 for professionalism, an average of 3.41 for overall clinical skills, and an average of 3.45 for overall readiness for experiential rotations. Average ratings when compared with fourth-year students from several mainland colleges ranged from 1.7 to 2.2 (1-worse than, 2-same, 3-better). This data demonstrates that UHH CoP is investing faculty and preceptor resources wisely to enhance the preparation of students for APPE rotations.
To compare student and faculty perceptions of the delivery and achievement of professional competencies in a doctor of pharmacy program in order to provide data for both accountability and curricular improvement purposes.
A survey instrument was designed based on current learning theory, and 76 specific competency statements generated from mission and goal statements of The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy and the Center for the Advancement of Pharmaceutical Education. This instrument was administered to PharmD program students and faculty.
The number of competencies by program year that are delivered in the curriculum, the percent of students and faculty reporting individual competency delivery and achievement, and differences between student and faculty perceptions of competency delivery and achievement are reported.
The faculty and student opinions provided an in-depth view of curricular outcomes. Gathering perception data from faculty and students about the delivery and achievement of competencies in a PharmD program can be used to both meet accreditation requirements (accountability) and to improve the curriculum (improvement).
outcomes assessment; assessment; survey research; curriculum reform; competency
To engage pharmacy students at the McWhorter School of Pharmacy in an authentic discussion of professionalism early in their education.
A booklet was prepared that included several classic short stories and essays that dealt with professionalism. This booklet was sent to all entering students in the class of 2008 and 2009 during the summer prior to their first-professional year of the PharmD program. The stories and essays were discussed in small groups with faculty facilitation during orientation when the students first arrived on campus. A survey instrument was created and administered to assess the impact of this innovative approach to enhancing professionalism.
The program was well received and engaged our pharmacy students in a productive discussion on professionalism. Both classes' mean scores on survey items related that the students were engaged in the discussion of professionalism. Survey results pertaining to professional behavior also indicated increased awareness of the importance of professionalism.
Enhancing professionalism requires a culture change that necessitates addressing professionalism at its core, a calling to serve, in a persistent and continual manner. Requiring students to read and think about professionalism in a novel way, before they even begin their first-professional year of pharmacy school, appears to be an effective approach to nurturing/encouraging professionalism.
professionalism; literature; humanities; vocation
Thai pharmacy education consists of two undergraduate programs, a 5-year Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy (BScPsci and BScPcare) degree and a 6-year Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm D). Pharmacy students who wish to serve in the public sector need to enroll in the public service program. This study aims to compare the perception of professional competency among new pharmacy graduates from the three different pharmacy programs available in 2013 who enrolled in the public service program.
A cross-sectional survey was conducted among new pharmacy graduates in 2013 using a self-administered, structured, close-ended questionnaire. The questionnaire consisted of respondents’ characteristics and perception of professional competencies. The competency questions consisted of 13 items with a 5-point scale. Data collection was conducted during Thailand’s annual health professional meeting on April 2, 2013 for workplace selection of pharmacy graduates.
A total of 266 new pharmacy graduates responded to the questionnaire (response rate 49.6%). There were no significant differences in sex and admission modes across the three pharmacy programs. Pharm D graduates reported highest competency in acute care services, medication reconciliation services, and primary care services among the other two programs. BScPsci graduates reported more competence in consumer health protection and herbal and alternative medicines than BScPcare graduates. There were significant differences in three competency domains: patient care, consumer protection and community health services, and drug review and information, but no significant differences in the health administration and communication domain among three pharmacy programs.
Despite a complete change into a 6-year Pharm D program in 2014, pharmacy education in Thailand should continue evolving to be responsive to the needs of the health system. An annual survey of new pharmacy graduates should be continued, to monitor changes of professional competency across different program tracks and other factors which may influence their contribution to the health service system. Likewise, a longitudinal monitoring of their competencies in the graduate cohort should be conducted.
pharmacy education; professional competency; pharmacy graduate; Doctor of Pharmacy; Thailand
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
Objective. To determine the perceptions of junior pharmacy faculty members with US doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) degrees regarding their exposure to residency, fellowship, and graduate school training options in pharmacy school. Perceptions of exposure to career options and research were also sought.
Methods. A mixed-mode survey instrument was developed and sent to assistant professors at US colleges and schools of pharmacy.
Results. Usable responses were received from 735 pharmacy faculty members. Faculty members perceived decreased exposure to and awareness of fellowship and graduate education training as compared to residency training. Awareness of and exposure to academic careers and research-related fields was low from a faculty recruitment perspective.
Conclusions. Ensuring adequate exposure of pharmacy students to career paths and postgraduate training opportunities could increase the number of PharmD graduates who choose academic careers or other pharmacy careers resulting from postgraduate training.
pharmacy faculty members; residency programs; fellowships; graduate education; careers
This paper provides baseline information on integrating the science of safety into the professional degree curriculum at colleges and schools of pharmacy. A multi-method examination was conducted that included a literature review, key informant interviews of 30 individuals, and in-depth case studies of 5 colleges and schools of pharmacy. Educators believe that they are devoting adequate time to science of safety topics and doing a good job teaching students to identify, understand, report, manage, and communicate medication risk. Areas perceived to be in need of improvement include educating pharmacy students about the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA's) role in product safety, how to work with the FDA in post-marketing surveillance and other FDA safety initiatives, teaching students methods to improve safety, and educating students to practice in interprofessional teams. The report makes 10 recommendations to help pharmacy school graduates be more effective in protecting patients from preventable drug-related problems.
safety; curriculum; pharmacy education; FDA; quality
Community pharmacists are well placed to deliver adherence support services as well as other pharmaceutical services to patients. They are often the last point of contact with patients collecting medicines in the healthcare chain, and they tend to be visited by patients on a regular basis to collect prescription medicines. They have the opportunity to reinforce information already received from other health practitioners, provide further information and monitor adherence to therapy.
The past decade has seen an increase in focus on the importance of adherence to therapy, not only in the higher education sector, but also in government policy and community pharmacy practice. Adherence monitoring and promotion has not only become the foundation of courses taught in pharmacy schools, but has become an essential component of disease management and pharmaceutical services delivered by community pharmacists.
This article aims to describe the education, research, practice and policy in the area of adherence to therapy in Australia with a focus on community pharmacists.
A search of MEDLINE and International Pharmaceutical Abstracts as well as hand searches of the bibliographies of retrieved articles was conducted for the period 2000-2008. All pharmacy schools in Australia were also contacted to obtain information on the patient adherence to therapy content of their courses.
Ten studies met the inclusion criteria. Only one study had a specific adherence focus, with the remainder including adherence support and monitoring as part of the overall interventions delivered by the community pharmacists. In the majority of cases the interventions resulted in an improvement in patients’ adherence to therapy. The research was supported by government and pharmacy professional organisation initiatives in the area of cognitive pharmaceutical services. All universities which responded delivered specific patient adherence courses.
Australian pharmacy schools are educating cohorts of students who will have the skills to monitor and support patient medication adherence in the context of contemporary pharmacy practice. This is supported by research evidence, government policy and fits well into the move to expand community pharmacy services to include chronic disease state management and primary health care.
Medication Adherence; Pharmacists; Australia
Current hospital and health-system participation in and the future capacity for experiential education for pharmacy students was investigated.
An online survey of ASHP members identified as U.S. pharmacy directors was conducted to assess their current and future involvement in partnering with colleges and schools to meet the experiential education requirements for doctor of pharmacy students and the current status of the student learning experiences. Questionnaire items examined the factors on which expanded involvement in experiential education would depend, the nature of support provided by colleges and schools, the types of experiences available for students, respondents' perceptions of factors influencing the quality of experiential education, the value of experiential education to the sites, respondents' challenges and concerns about experiential education, and respondents' current capacity and projections for introductory and advanced experiences through 2012.
Data from 549 respondents were analyzed. Most respondents indicated that they had conducted advanced experiences for their 2007 graduates and anticipated that they would continue to do so. Among the top challenges identified regarding advanced experiences were concerns about time to serve and be trained as preceptors and a lack of standardization and coordination among colleges and schools. Hospitals forecasting their future capacity to accommodate students indicated that their projections were highly dependent on the number of pharmacists at their hospitals. Many respondents noted that their capacity projections were tied to their ability to expand clinical services at their hospitals.
A survey of pharmacy directors suggested an ability of U.S. hospitals to conduct advanced experiential education opportunities for pharmacy students through 2012 and to expand introductory experiences.
curriculum; data collection; education; pharmaceutical; pharmacy; institutional; hospital; 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.
teaching; evaluation; assessment; survey
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
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
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.
Pharmacists; Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice; Estradiol Congeners; Menopause; Canada
As efforts to integrate patient safety into health professional curricula increase, there is growing recognition that the rate of curricular change is very slow, and there is a shortage of research that addresses critical perspectives of faculty who are on the ‘front-lines’ of curricular innovation. This study reports on medical, nursing and pharmacy teaching faculty perspectives about factors that influence curricular integration and the preparation of safe practitioners.
Qualitative methods were used to collect data from 20 faculty members (n=6 medical from three universities; n=6 pharmacy from two universities; n=8 nursing from four universities) engaged in medical, nursing and pharmacy education. Thematic analysis generated a comprehensive account of faculty perspectives.
Faculty perspectives on key challenges to safe practice vary across the three disciplines, and these different perspectives lead to different priorities for curricular innovation. Additionally, accreditation and regulatory requirements are driving curricular change in medicine and pharmacy. Key challenges exist for health professional students in clinical teaching environments where the culture of patient safety may thwart the preparation of safe practitioners.
Patient safety curricular innovation depends on the interests of individual faculty members and the leveraging of accreditation and regulatory requirements. Building on existing curricular frameworks, opportunities now need to be created for faculty members to act as champions of curricular change, and patient safety educational opportunities need to be harmonises across all health professional training programmes. Faculty champions and practice setting leaders can collaborate to improve the culture of patient safety in clinical teaching and learning settings.
Patient safety; Nurses; Medical education; Continuing education, continuing professional development; Pharmacists
With the emerging role of pharmacists in implementing smoking cessation services and the recent evidence about smoking cessation pharmacotherapies, a needs analysis to assess baseline knowledge about current smoking cessation practice is needed; hence, training and development in this area can target possible ‘gaps’.
This study aimed at exploring pharmacy students’ knowledge about and attitudes toward smoking cessation, as compared to practicing community pharmacists and smoking cessation educators. The overall objective was to uncover underlying ‘gaps’ in pharmacy-based smoking cessation practice, particularly clinical gaps.
Final-year pharmacy students at the University of Sydney, practicing community pharmacists and smoking cessation educators in Australia.
As no previous standard pharmacist-focused smoking cessation knowledge questionnaires exist, a review of the literature informed the development of such a questionnaire. The questionnaire was administered to a cohort of fourth-year pharmacy students at the University of Sydney, practicing pharmacists and smoking cessation educators. Data analysis was performed using Predictive Analytics SoftWare (PASW® Statistics 18). Mean total scores, independent t-tests, analysis of variances and exploratory factor analysis were performed.
Main outcome measure
To determine areas of major clinical deficits about current evidence related to smoking cessation interventions at the pharmacy level.
Responses from 250 students, 51 pharmacists and 20 educators were obtained. Smoking educators scored significantly higher than pharmacists and students (P < .05), while score differences in the latter two groups were not statistically significant (P > .05). All groups scored high on ‘general’ knowledge questions as compared to specialised pharmacologic and pharmacotherapeutic questions. All respondents demonstrated positive attitudes toward the implications of smoking cessation. Factor analysis of the 24-item knowledge section extracted 12 items loading on 5 factors accounting for 53% of the total variance.
The results provide a valid indication of ‘gaps’ in the practice of up-to-date smoking cessation services among Australian pharmacy professionals, particularly in clinical expertise areas involving assessment of nicotine dependence and indications, dosages, adverse effects, contraindications, drug interactions and combinations of available pharmacotherapies. These gaps should be addressed, and the results should inform the design, implementation and evaluation of a pharmacy-based educational training program targeting current clinical issues in smoking cessation.
Attitudes; Knowledge; Pharmacy; Questionnaire; Smoking cessation
To identify the variables associated with an academic pharmacy career choice among the following groups: final professional-year doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) students, pharmacy residents, pharmacy faculty members within the first 5 years of academic employment, and clinical pharmacy practitioners.
A cross-sectional design Web-based survey instrument was developed using the online tool SurveyMonkey. The survey link was distributed via e-mail and postcards, and data were collected anonymously. Quantitative analyses were used to describe the 2,494 survey respondents and compare their responses to 25 variables associated with an academic pharmacy career choice. Logistic regression models were used to predict the motivators/deterrents associated with an academic pharmacy career choice for each participant group.
Across all participant groups, the potential need to generate one's salary was the primary deterrent and autonomy, flexibility, and the ability to shape the future of the profession were the primary motivators. Final-year pharmacy students who considered a career in academic pharmacy were significantly deterred by grant writing. The overall sample of participants who considered an academic pharmacy career was more likely to be motivated by the academic environment and opportunities to teach, conduct professional writing and reviews, and participate in course design and/or assessment.
This study demonstrates specific areas to consider for improved recruitment and retention of pharmacy faculty. For example, providing experiences related to pharmacy academia, such as allowing student participation in teaching and research, may stimulate those individuals' interest in pursuing an academic pharmacy career.
academia; faculty; career; motivating factors