Whether the available Continuing Education (CE) programs meet pharmacists’ continuously increasing needs and preferences is open to question.
to investigate pharmacists’ perceptions and attitudes concerning available CE programs, evaluate the pharmacists’ choices with regard to selecting among different CE programs, and investigate the factors that are associated with preference to utilize online CE programs.
A 17-question survey was developed and mailed to a random sample of 600 Texan pharmacists. In addition to collecting basic demographic information, the survey investigated pharmacists’ choices with regard to delivery and content of CE programs, motivations to participation in CE programs, and pharmacists’ preferences for future CE programs.
A total of 161 pharmacists completed the survey and mailed back their responses. Excluding the 75 undeliverable surveys, the response rate was 31%. Approximately 83% of respondents found that currently available CE programs met their educational needs. The most important factors influencing pharmacists’ choices with regard to CE programs were the scope programs, the location where programs are held, and the cost associated with enrolling in such programs. Online CE was the most preferred mode of CE among participants. The factors that were associated with pharmacists’ preferences to complete 50% or more of required CE through online programs were previous use of online CE programs, preference to limit the duration of CE programs to 1 or 2 hour-long, and perceived ability to find adequate CE programs among currently available CE programs.
The findings suggest modalities for CE programs providers on how to improve CE programs in the future in order to meet the preferences of local pharmacists.