During the past 15 years, the curriculum content for nonprescription medication and self-care therapeutics has expanded significantly. Self-care courses ranging from stand-alone, required courses to therapeutic content and skills laboratories, have evolved in colleges and schools of pharmacy to accommodate rapid changes related to nonprescription medications and to meet the needs of students. The design of and content delivery methods used in self-care courses vary among institutions. Teaching innovations such as team-based learning, role playing/vignettes, videos, and social media, as well as interdisciplinary learning have enhanced delivery of this content. Given that faculty members train future pharmacists, they should be familiar with the new paradigms of Nonprescription Safe Use Regulatory Expansion (NSURE) Initiative, nonprescription medications for chronic diseases, and the growing trends of health and wellness in advancing patient-care initiatives. This paper reviews the significant changes that may be impacting self-care curriculums in the United States.
self-care; nonprescription medications; pharmacy education
The University of North Carolina Eshelman School of Pharmacy launched the Bill and Karen Campbell Faculty Mentoring Program (CMP) in 2006 to support scholarship-intensive junior faculty members. This report describes the origin, expectations, principles, and best practices that led to the introduction of the program, reviews the operational methods chosen for its implementation, provides information about its successes, and analyzes its strengths and limitations.
faculty mentoring; faculty; scholarship
Objective. To identify reasons for drinking, determine the patterns of alcohol abuse, and explore relationships between drinking motives and alcohol abuse patterns in pharmacy students.
Methods. A cross-sectional anonymous, voluntary, self-administered paper survey instrument was administered to first-year (P1) through third-year (P3) pharmacy students as part of a professional seminar.
Results. Survey instruments were completed by 349 pharmacy students (95.9% cooperation rate). Using the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test criteria, 23.2% of students reported hazardous or harmful use and 67.2% of students reported consuming alcohol at hazardous levels during the past year. Students who were male (37.0%), single (25.3%), and attended the main campus (26.2%) were more likely than their counterparts to report hazardous or harmful alcohol use. Pharmacy students reported social motives as the most common reason for drinking; however, coping and enhancement motives were more predictive of harmful or hazardous alcohol use.
Conclusion. Approximately 1 in 4 pharmacy students (23%) reported hazardous or harmful alcohol use. Education about the dangers of alcohol abuse and intervention programs from colleges and schools of pharmacy are recommended to help address this issue.
pharmacy students; alcohol abuse; drinking; substance abuse
Objective. To determine pharmacy students’ perceptions regarding cultural competence training, cross-cultural experiences during advanced pharmacy practice experiences (APPEs), and perceived comfort levels with various cultural encounters.
Methods. Fourth-year pharmacy (P4) students were asked to complete a questionnaire at the end of their fourth APPE.
Results. Fifty-two of 124 respondents (31.9%) reported having 1 or more cultural competence events during their APPEs, the most common of which was caring for a patient with limited English proficiency.
Conclusion. Students reported high levels of comfort with specific types of cultural encounters (disabilities, sexuality, financial barriers, mental health), but reported to be less comfortable in other situations.
cultural competence; assessment; advanced pharmacy practice experience (APPE); cultural competence training
Objectives. To determine if student self-testing improves performance during a doctor of pharmacy course.
Methods. Students were given access to online quizzes with a large pool of randomly selected questions specific to upcoming examination content. Quizzes were electronically scored immediately upon completion and students were provided corrective feedback.
Results. Examination scores following implementation of the practice quizzes were significantly higher in all but the last testing period. The upper fiftieth percentile of students scored higher on both the practice quizzes and subsequent examinations in all but the fourth testing period.
Conclusions. Providing pharmacy students with self-testing opportunities could increase their retention of course material and provide feedback to both students and educators regarding learning, as well as provide students with a measure of their metacognition.
pharmacy education; assessment; formative assessment; metacognition; self-testing; retrieval practice
Objective. To determine if an educational intervention in a doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) degree program increases pharmacy students’ ability to identify plagiarism.
Methods. First-year (P1), second-year (P2), and third-year (P3) pharmacy students attended an education session during which types of plagiarism and methods for avoiding plagiarism were reviewed. Students completed a preintervention assessment immediately prior to the session and a postintervention assessment the following semester to measure their ability.
Results. Two hundred fifty-two students completed both preintervention and postintervention assessments. There was a 4% increase from preintervention to postintervention in assessment scores for the overall student sample (p<0.05). The mean change was greatest for P1 and P2 students (5% and 4.8%, respectively).
Conclusion. An educational intervention about plagiarism can significantly improve students’ ability to identify plagiarism.
plagiarism; pharmacy education; healthcare education; educational intervention
Objective. To compare the accuracy of medication lists obtained by student pharmacists, nurses, and physicians, and quantify the number of discrepancies identified as part of the medication reconciliation process.
Methods. Between May and July 2012, patients admitted to an internal medicine team at a 350-bed tertiary academic medical center were assessed for inclusion in the study. Physicians and/or nurses conducted medication reviews for these patients at the time of admission, while student pharmacists conducted medication reconciliation.
Results. Eighty-six patients were assessed, and 52 met all inclusion criteria. A total of 268 discrepancies were identified as part of the medication reconciliation performed by the student pharmacists, approximating 5 discrepancies per patient (range 0-13). Student pharmacists identified 532 preadmission medications, significantly more than did nurses (355) or physicians (368), p=0.006.
Conclusion. Student pharmacists, with appropriate oversight, can be used in several tasks that previously may have been designated to pharmacists only, such as medication reconciliation.
medication reconciliation; pharmacy; student pharmacist
Objective. To assess the accuracy of pharmacy students’ self-assessment of body mass index (BMI) and determine the relationship of this to comfort level in counseling patients regarding lifestyle modification.
Methods. A prospective, observational, cohort study was conducted that included first-, second-, and third-year pharmacy students who had previously undergone training in BMI self-assessment. Data on students’ weight and height were collected and a survey that contained questions on self-perception of body weight and comfort with lifestyle counseling was conducted. Perceived BMI categories (underweight, normal, overweight, and obese) were then compared to actual calculated BMI to determine the accuracy of the student’s self-perception.
Results. At baseline, participants’ accuracy in self-assessment of BMI was 74%, 73.3%, and 75.6% respectively, for first-, second-, and third-year students (p=0.911). Students accuracy increased but not significantly as they progressed through the curriculum (7.2% and 13.3%, respectively; p=0.470 and p=0.209). Neither accuracy in self-assessment of BMI nor students’ actual BMI significantly affected students’ comfort level with lifestyle modification counseling within healthy weight, overweight, or obese patient categories. However, as the patients’ BMI category increased, comfort level differences were observed among students of normal and overweight categories.
Conclusion. Patients’ BMI category may be a significant barrier to pharmacy students’ comfort level in providing lifestyle modification counseling. This finding suggests the need to implement curriculum changes to better prepare students for lifestyle modification counseling.
lifestyle; counseling; body weight; weight loss
Objective. To investigate the moral development of pharmacy students over their first academic year of study at a university in the United Kingdom.
Methods. Pharmacy students completed Defining Issues Test (DIT) at the start of their first year (phase 1) and again at the end of their first year (phase 2) of the program.
Results. Pharmacy students (N=116) had significantly higher moral reasoning at the beginning of their first year than by the end of it. Scores differed by students’ gender and age; however, these findings differed between phase 1 and phase 2.
Conclusion. First-year pharmacy students in the United Kingdom scored lower on moral reasoning than did pharmacy students in the United States and Canada.
moral development; pharmacy students; moral reasoning
Objectives. To design, implement, and evaluate student performance on clinically relevant chemical and spectral laboratory exercises on antibiotics.
Design. In the first of 2 exercises, second-year pharmacy students enrolled in an integrated laboratory sequence course studied the aqueous stability of ß-lactam antibiotics using a spectral visual approach. In a second exercise, students studied the tendency of tetracycline, rifamycins, and fluoroquinolones to form insoluble chelate complexes (turbidity) with polyvalent metals.
Assessment. On a survey to assess achievement of class learning objectives, students agreed the laboratory activities helped them better retain important information concerning antibiotic stability and interactions. A significant improvement was observed in performance on examination questions related to the laboratory topics for 2012 and 2013 students compared to 2011 students who did not complete the laboratory. A 1-year follow-up examination question administered in a separate course showed >75% of the students were able to identify rifamycins-food interactions compared with <25% of students who had not completed the laboratory exercises.
Conclusion. The use of spectral visual approaches allowed students to investigate antibiotic stability and interactions, thus reinforcing the clinical relevance of medicinal chemistry. Students’ performance on questions at the 1-year follow-up suggested increased retention of the concepts learned as a result of completing the exercises.
drug interactions; ß-lactam antibiotics; medicinal chemistry; pharmacy practice laboratory; spectral and chemical visual approaches
Objective. To implement a student peer-mentoring program with a drug information response assignment in an introductory pharmacy practice course.
Design. Second-year student pharmacists (P2 mentors) enrolled in an independent study course were randomly assigned first-year student pharmacists (P1 mentees) to mentor on a drug information assignment. The P2 mentors provided feedback to P1 mentees' assignment drafts. The P1 mentees had the opportunity to revise the draft prior to turning in the completed assignment to course faculty members for grading.
Assessment. Both P1 mentees and P2 mentors agreed the mentorship improved their ability to prepare a drug information response (76% and 100%, respectively). A majority of the student pharmacists would choose to be involved in the program again.
Conclusion. The student peer-mentoring program was successful in improving student pharmacists' perceptions of ability to compose a drug information response.
mentor; peer mentoring; drug information; pharmacy education
Objective. To implement required attendance at mutual support groups for addiction recovery as a pharmacy skills laboratory exercise, and to evaluate how attendance affected pharmacy students’ attitudes about caring for patients with addiction.
Design. Third-year (P3) pharmacy students enrolled in a Pharmacy Skills Laboratory course were required to watch an introductory video about Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and then attend 2 “open meetings” during the semester. Students submitted a written reflection as proof of attendance.
Assessment. Pharmacy students who agreed to participate in the study completed the Short Alcohol and Alcohol Problems Perception Questionnaire (SAAPPQ) during the course orientation and again at the end of the semester. Mutual support group attendance significantly affected the students’ attitudes within the domains of role adequacy, task specific self-esteem, and work satisfaction. Significant changes were not observed within the domains of motivation and role legitimacy.
Conclusion. Mutual support group attendance exposed pharmacy students to the negative effects of alcohol abuse and increased their self-confidence to provide care to patients with alcohol addiction.
skills laboratory; Alcoholics Anonymous; Short Alcohol and Alcohol Problems Perception Questionnaire; substance abuse
Objective. To teach drug utilization review (DUR) skills to pharmacy students and assess their abilities and confidence before and after training.
Design. Profile reviews and online and live drug-utilization-review activities of increasing difficulty were incorporated into the first (P1), second (P2), and third (P3) years of the Pharmacy Skills Training Laboratory sequence in a doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) curriculum.
Assessment. An online survey instrument was administered to gauge how comfortable students were with specific DUR skills before and after the activities. Students’ confidence in performing specific DUR skills improved after completing the activities.
Conclusion. Profile reviews, as well as online and live medication reviews, gave students numerous opportunities to practice drug utilization review skills throughout the first 3 years of the pharmacy curriculum. Students’ confidence in performing specific drug utilization review skills improved after the activities. Students’ ability to perform the skills also improved as measured with the developed checklist in section V and VI of the Pharmacy Skills Laboratory sequence.
drug utilization review; pharmacy skills laboratory
Objective. To implement and assess a task-based learning exercise that prompts pharmacy students to integrate their understanding of different disciplines.
Design. Master of pharmacy (MPharm degree) students were provided with simulated information from several preclinical science and from clinical trials and asked to synthesize this into a marketing authorization application for a new drug. Students made a link to pharmacy practice by creating an advice leaflet for pharmacists.
Assessment. Students’ ability to integrate information from different disciplines was evaluated by oral examination. In 2 successive academic years, 96% and 82% of students demonstrated an integrated understanding of their proposed new drug. Students indicated in a survey that their understanding of the links between different subjects improved.
Conclusion. Simulated drug discovery provides a learning environment that emphasizes the connectivity of the preclinical sciences with each other and the practice of pharmacy.
synoptic assessment; drug discovery; integrated learning; simulation
Objectives. To measure perceptions of quality of life (QOL) in an active geriatric population and compare their responses with pharmacy students’ perceptions of older adult QOL.
Methods. Pharmacy students and active older adults completed the modified and standard version of a validated health survey instrument, respectively, and their responses were compared.
Results. Eighty-six students and 20 active older adults participated. Student perceptions of geriatric QOL were significantly lower in all domains except health change compared to older adult perceptions (p<0.001 for all domains). Interest in a geriatric pharmacy career (p=0.04) and previously having taken the Perspectives in Geriatrics course and laboratory (p=0.05 and 0.02, respectively) were significantly associated with higher student scores on the physical component portion of the survey.
Conclusion. Stronger emphasis on geriatric QOL within pharmacy curricula may improve pharmacy students’ perceptions regarding outcomes related to healthy older adults.
geriatrics; geriatric education; quality of life; student perceptions
Objectives. To develop and validate an instrument to assess subjective ratings of the perceived value of various postgraduate training paths followed using expectancy-value as a theoretical framework; and to explore differences in value beliefs across type of postgraduate training pursued and type of pharmacy training completed prior to postgraduate training.
Methods. A survey instrument was developed to sample 4 theoretical domains of subjective task value: intrinsic value, attainment value, utility value, and perceived cost. Retrospective self-report methodology was employed to examine respondents’ (N=1,148) subjective task value beliefs specific to their highest level of postgraduate training completed. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analytic techniques were used to evaluate and validate value belief constructs.
Results. Intrinsic, attainment, utility, cost, and financial value constructs resulted from exploratory factor analysis. Cross-validation resulted in a 26-item instrument that demonstrated good model fit. Differences in value beliefs were noted across type of postgraduate training pursued and pharmacy training characteristics.
Conclusions. The Postgraduate Training Value Instrument demonstrated evidence of reliability and construct validity. The survey instrument can be used to assess value beliefs regarding multiple postgraduate training options in pharmacy and potentially inform targeted recruiting of individuals to those paths best matching their own value beliefs.
faculty members; residency; fellowship; graduate education; career; motivation