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1.  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.
doi:10.5688/ajpe76346
PMCID: PMC3327244  PMID: 22544963
portfolio; assessment; evaluation; competency achievement; pharmacy practice experiences; pharmacy education
2.  Faculty and Student Expectations and Perceptions of E-mail Communication in a Campus and Distance Doctor of Pharmacy Program 
Objective
To examine faculty members' and students' expectations and perceptions of e-mail communication in a dual pathway pharmacy program.
Methods
Three parallel survey instruments were administered to campus students, distance students, and faculty members, respectively. Focus groups with students and faculty were conducted.
Results
Faculty members perceived themselves as more accessible and approachable by e-mail than either group of students did. Campus students expected a shorter faculty response time to e-mail and for faculty members to be more available than did distance students.
Conclusion
E-mail is an effective means of computer-mediated communication between faculty members and students and can be used to promote a sense of community and inclusiveness (ie, immediacy), especially with distant students.
PMCID: PMC3058465  PMID: 21436932
communication; e-mail; teaching effectiveness
3.  A Survey of Pharmacy Students' Experiences With Gambling 
Objectives
To assess gambling among pharmacy students using the South Oaks Gambling Screen (SOGS).
Methods
Six hundred fifty-eight pharmacy students enrolled at Creighton University were surveyed to determine the extent and characteristics of their gambling.
Results
Four hundred eighty-eight students (74.2%) participated (mean age was 26.6 years and 63.4% were female). Almost two-thirds (63.1%) gambled at least once during the past 12 months. Slightly more than 16% (80) of students were identified as “at-risk” (SOGS scores of 1 to 2). Another 5% (24) were likely to be problem gamblers (SOGS scores of 3 to 4), while 1% of students were identified as probable pathological gamblers (SOGS scores ≥ 5). Students who gambled were significantly more likely than non-gamblers to be single males. Gamblers with a score ≥ 1were significantly more likely to report gambling had affected their relationships with others, compared to casual gamblers.
Conclusions
Gambling is a common activity among pharmacy students. While the incidence of problem gambling is relatively small, the percentage of our students who may be at-risk for gambling-related problems is noteworthy.
PMCID: PMC2856415  PMID: 20414439
gambling; risky behaviors; South Oaks Gambling Screen
4.  An Instructional Model for a Nonprescription Therapeutics Course 
Objectives
To design and implement curricular modifications to a nonprescription therapeutics course to better meet course objectives.
Design
Improvements included the addition of journaling, mastery grading, case studies, verbal examinations, educational mentors, and encouraging classroom participation.
Assessment
Student course evaluations and grades were used to assess the impact of the pedagogical modifications. Course grades indicated that students succeeded in learning at the set mastery level of 80%. Course evaluations indicated students responded positively to the course modifications.
Conclusion
Ongoing curricular modifications ultimately resulted in a course that met established course objectives.
PMCID: PMC2779646  PMID: 19960088
journaling; case-based learning; student evaluations; verbal examinations; nonprescription; therapeutics
5.  Effectiveness of Human Anatomy Education for Pharmacy Students via the Internet 
Objective
To evaluate the overall effectiveness of a human anatomy course taught to distance-based and campus-based pharmacy students.
Design
A retrospective analysis of students' grades and course evaluations from 2003 through 2006 was conducted.
Assessment
No significant differences in student performance by pathway were found for the 2003-2005 academic years (p > 0.05). However, distance-based students' percentage and letter grades were significantly higher in 2006 (p = 0.013 and p = 0.004 respectively). Comparison of course and instructor evaluations showed that students in the distance course held similar or more positive perceptions of the course than their campus peers.
Conclusions
Similar performance by campus and distance students enrolled in a human anatomy suggests that a distance-based course can be used successfully to teach human anatomy to pharmacy students.
PMCID: PMC2661160  PMID: 19325961
human anatomy; distance education; Internet
6.  The Vermont Diabetes Information System (VDIS): Study Design and Subject Recruitment for a Cluster Randomized Trial of a Decision Support System in a Regional Sample of Primary Care Practices 
Background
Despite evidence that optimal care for diabetes can result in reduced complications and improved economic outcomes, such care is often not achieved. The Vermont Diabetes Information System (VDIS) is a registry-based decision support and reminder system based on the Chronic Care Model and targeted to primary care physicians and their patients with diabetes.
Purpose
To develop and evaluate a regional decision support system for patients with diabetes.
Methods
Randomized trial of an information system with clustering at the practice level. Ten percent random sub sample of patients selected for a home interview. Subject and setting includes 10 hospitals, 121 primary care providers, and 7,348 patients in 55 Vermont and New York primary care practices.
Results
We report on the study design and baseline characteristics of the population. Patients have a mean age of 63 years and a mean glycosolated hemoglobin A1C of 7.1%. Sixty percent of the population has excellent glycemic control (A1C<7%); 45% have excellent lipid control (serum LDL-cholesterol < 100mg/dl and serum triglycerides < 400mg/dl). Twenty-five percent have excellent blood pressure control (<130/80 mm Hg). These results compare favorably to recent national reports. However, only 8% are in optimal control for all three of hyperglycemia, lipids and blood pressure.
Conclusions
Our experience to date indicates that a low cost decision support and information system based on the chronic care model is feasible in primary care practices that lack sophisticated electronic information systems. VDIS is well accepted by patients, providers, and laboratory staff. If proven beneficial in a rigorous, randomized, controlled evaluation, the intervention could be widely disseminated to practices across America and the world with a substantial impact on the outcomes and costs of diabetes. It could also be adapted to other chronic conditions. We anticipate the results of the study will be available in 2006.
PMCID: PMC2518939  PMID: 16279294

Results 1-6 (6)