Impact of Completion of a Pre-Pharmacy Biochemistry Course and Competency Levels in Pre-Pharmacy Courses on Pharmacy Student Performance.
ABSTRACT: Poor performance in foundational science courses, which are usually taken during the first or second year of pharmacy school, can have several negative consequences including increases in student drop-out rates and increases in the number of dismissals and remediating students. The primary goal of the current study was to determine whether completion of a pre-pharmacy biochemistry course and/or performance on a biochemistry competency test (administered at the beginning of the pharmacy program) are associated with pharmacy student performance in foundational science courses and overall academic performance. A secondary goal was to determine whether performance in pre-pharmacy courses and/or student demographics are associated with pharmacy student performance. Prospective univariate analyses (n = 75) determined that completion of a pre-pharmacy biochemistry course is not associated with pharmacy student performance. However, performance on a biochemistry competency test was associated with performance in Biochemistry and Cell&Molecular Biology (p = 0.002). Furthermore, post-hoc analyses determined that pre-pharmacy cumulative chemistry GPA correlates with performance in both the Biochemistry and Cell&Molecular Biology and Medicinal Chemistry foundational science courses (p = 0.002 and p = 0.04, respectively) and can predict first year GPA (p = 0.002). The combined data indicate that further assessment of the impact of pre-pharmacy competency in biochemistry and chemistry on pharmacy student success is warranted.
Project description:Purpose:To design, implement, and launch courses that integrate foundational science learning and clinical application in a post-clerkship undergraduate medical school curriculum. Method:In Academic Year (AY) 15-16, as part of a comprehensive curricular revision, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine (VUSM) formally implemented "Integrated Science Courses" (ISCs) that combined rigorous training in the foundational sciences with meaningful clinical experiences. These courses integrated foundational sciences that could be leveraged in the clinical environment, utilized a variety of instructional modalities, and included quantitative and qualitative (competency-based milestones) student assessments. Each ISC underwent a rigorous quality improvement process that required input on foundational science content, student experience, and student performance assessment. Results:Eleven ISCs were delivered to 173 students in AY15-16, with some students taking more than one ISC. Immediately after completing each course, 93% (n=222) of ISC enrollees completed a course evaluation. Students (91%; n=201) 'agreed' or 'strongly agreed' that foundational science learning informed and enriched the clinical experiences. Furthermore, 94% (n=209) of students thought that the clinical experiences informed and enriched the foundational science learning. Ninety-four percent of the students anticipated using the foundational science knowledge acquired in future clinical training and practice. Conclusion:The teaching of foundational sciences in the clinical workplace in the post-clerkship medical curriculum is challenging and resource-intensive, yet feasible. Additional experience with the model will inform the mix of courses as well as the breadth and depth of foundational science instruction that is necessary to foster scientifically-based clinical reasoning skills in each student.
Project description:In recent years, pharmacists have been involved in expanded patient care responsibilities, for example patient counseling in self-medication, medication review and pharmaceutical care, which require graduates to develop the necessary competences. Consequently, reorientation of pharmacy education has become necessary. As such, active learning strategies have been introduced into classrooms to increase problem-solving and critical thinking skills of students. The objective of this study was to evaluate the performance and perceptions of competency of students in a new pharmaceutical care course that uses active learning methodologies.This pharmaceutical care course was conducted in the first semester of 2014, in the Federal University of Sergipe. In the pharmaceutical care course, active learning methods were used, consisting of dialogic classroom expository, simulation and case studies. Student learning was evaluated using classroom tests and instruments that evaluated the perception of competency in pharmaceutical care practice. Furthermore, students' satisfaction with the course was evaluated.Thirty-three students completed the four evaluations used in the course (i.e., a discursive written exam, seminars, OSCE, and virtual patient); 25 were female (75.75%), and the median age was 23.43 (SD 2.82) years. The overall mean of student scores, in all evaluation methods was 7.97 (SD 0.59) on a scale of 0 to 10 points, and student performance on the virtual patient method was statistically superior to other methods. With respect to the perception of competency in pharmaceutical care practice, a comparison of pre- and post-test scores revealed statistically significant improvement for all evaluated competences. At the end of the semester, the students presented positive opinions of the pharmaceutical care course.The results suggest that an active learning course can enhance the learning of pharmaceutical care competences. In future studies it will be necessary to compare active learning to traditional methods.
Project description:INTRODUCTION:This study sought to determine pharmacy students' self-assessment of their level of competency in specified global health statements across various schools. It also evaluated attributes associated with competency and perception of importance, as well as explored students' perspectives on how best to incorporate global health content into pharmacy education. METHODS:Cross-sectional survey administered online to pharmacy students from three pharmacy schools in the United States. RESULTS:The self-assessed competency of pharmacy students in global health topic areas was low. Current or prior exposures outside of the PharmD curriculum to the global health content presented in the survey were significant indicators of self-assessed competency scores. Within individual participating schools, demographic characteristics such as gender, age category, speaking a non-English language, and progression through the PharmD curriculum were also significantly associated with competency scores reported. Most respondents (96%) agreed that relevant global health education should be incorporated into the pharmacy curriculum. CONCLUSIONS:Pharmacy students generally perceive global health competencies to be of great importance in practice, but acknowledge their deficiencies in this area. The current burden of global health education at the schools surveyed relies on individual student experience rather than curricular support. Ensuring that future pharmacists understand their role in global health teams and are able to achieve the necessary level of competency to function in interdisciplinary initiatives will require more strategic incorporation of relevant content into the curriculum.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Pharmacists possess a unique and complex body of knowledge, skills, attitudes, and behaviors necessary to enable them to optimize health outcomes. Pharmacy organizations publish routinely updated versions of professional competencies that help pharmacy schools integrate advances into their curricula. In Lebanon, no national framework for pharmacy education is officially adopted yet. In 2017, the Official Pharmacists' Association in Lebanon [OPL - Order of Pharmacists of Lebanon] took the initiative to develop a pharmacy core competency framework.<h4>Objective</h4>The primary objective of this survey was to evaluate graduates' perceptions of pharmacy-related competencies "taught" across Lebanese pharmacy schools/faculties, based on the suggested Lebanese Pharmacy Competencies Framework. This study also explored the association between graduates' demographics, university attributes, and self-assessed competency performance.<h4>Methods</h4>A cross-sectional study involving pharmacists who graduated from Lebanese universities was performed through a 40-minute online questionnaire distributed over social media platforms and groups of pharmacists.<h4>Results</h4>Pharmacists perceived their competence as moderate upon graduation, the lowest scores being in fundamental knowledge and medicine supply; the highest reported scores were in personal skills and safe/rational use of medicines. Moreover, females, younger graduates, PharmD holders, and pharmacists working in hospitals/clinical settings and academia had the highest perception of their competencies. Pharmacists in the public sector and medical laboratory directors had the lowest perception of competence.<h4>Conclusions</h4>When comparing the taught curriculum to the suggested Lebanese Pharmacy Competency Framework, all domains need to be improved to optimize the perception, education, and practice of pharmacists. It is essential to emphasize fundamental knowledge, medicines supply, and public health competencies in undergraduate curricula and improve continuing professional education.
Project description:<h4>Purpose</h4>In Pakistan, courses in pharmacy practice, which are an essential component of the PharmD curriculum, were launched with the aim of strengthening pharmacy practice overall and enabling pharmacy students to cope with the challenges involved in meeting real-world healthcare needs. Since very little research has assessed the efficacy of such courses, we aimed to evaluate students' perceptions of pharmacy practice courses and their opinions about whether their current knowledge of the topics covered in pharmacy practice courses is adequate for future practice.<h4>Methods</h4>A cross-sectional study was conducted over two months among the senior pharmacy students of two pharmacy colleges. A content- and face-validated questionnaire was used to collect data, which were then analysed using SPSS version 20. Descriptive analysis and logistic regression were performed.<h4>Results</h4>Research in pharmacy practice (30.2%), applied drug information (34.4%), health policy (38.1%), public health and epidemiology (39.5%), pharmacovigilance (45.6%), and pharmacoeconomics (47.9%) were the major courses that were covered to the least extent in the PharmD curriculum. However, hospital pharmacy practice (94.4%), pharmacotherapeutics (88.8%), and community pharmacy practice (82.8%) were covered well. Although 94% of students considered these courses important, only 37.2% considered themselves to be competent in the corresponding topics. Of the participants, 87.9% agreed that the pharmacy courses in the present curriculum should be redesigned.<h4>Conclusion</h4>Our results showed that the pharmacy practice courses in the current PharmD curriculum do not encompass some important core subjects. A nationwide study is warranted to further establish the necessity for remodelling pharmacy practice courses in Pakistan.
Project description:Underperforming students are often unaware of deficiencies requiring improvement until after poor performance on summative exams. The goal of the current study was to determine whether inclusion of individual end-of-class formative quizzes, which comprise of higher level Bloom's questions, could encourage students to reflect on and address deficiencies and improve academic performance. Ninety-seven out of 123 first-year pharmacy students (79%) enrolled in a Biochemistry and Cell & Molecular Biology course participated in a single-blinded, randomized, controlled, crossover study. Paired t-test analyses demonstrated that that implementation of individual end-of-class formative quizzes resulted in significantly higher summative exam scores for below average students (p = 0.029). Notably, inclusion of quizzes significantly improved performance on higher Bloom's questions for these students (p = 0.006). Analysis of surveys completed by students prior to summative exam indicate that the formative end-of-class quizzes helped students identify deficiencies (89%) and making them feel compelled to study more (83%) and attend review sessions (61%). Many students indicated that quizzes increased stress levels (45%). Our collective data indicate that quizzes can improve summative exam performance for below average first year pharmacy students, and improve self-reflection and student motivation to study. However, the impact on student stress levels should be considered.
Project description:<h4>Introduction</h4>Understanding how pharmacy technicians and other pharmacy support workforce cadres assist pharmacists in the healthcare system will facilitate developing health systems with the ability to achieve universal health coverage as it is defined in different country contexts. The aim of this paper is to provide an overview of the present global variety in the technician and other pharmacy support workforce cadres considering; their scope, roles, supervision, education and legal framework.<h4>Material and methods</h4>A structured online survey instrument was administered globally using the Survey Monkey platform, designed to address the following topic areas: roles, responsibilities, supervision, education and legislation. The survey was circulated to International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) member organisations and a variety of global list serves where pharmaceutical services are discussed.<h4>Results</h4>193 entries from 67 countries and territories were included in the final analysis revealing a vast global variety with respect to the pharmacy support workforce.<h4>Roles and competency</h4>From no pharmacy technicians or other pharmacy support workforce cadres in Japan, through a variety of cadre interactions with pharmacists, to the autonomous practice of pharmacy support workforce cadres in Malawi.<h4>Responsibilities</h4>From strictly supervised practice with a focus on supply, through autonomous practice for a variety of responsibilities, to independent practice.<h4>Supervision</h4>From complete supervision for all tasks, through geographical varied supervision, to independent practice.<h4>Education</h4>From on the job training, through certificate level vocational courses, to 3-4 year diploma programs.<h4>Legislation, regulation and liability</h4>From well-regulated and registered, through part regulation with weak implementation, to completely non-regulated contexts.<h4>Conclusion</h4>This paper documents wide differences in supervision requirements, education systems and supportive legislation for pharmacy support workforce cadres globally. A more detailed understanding of specific country practice settings is required if the use of pharmacy support workforce cadres is to be optimized.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>We piloted an educational intervention that aimed to enhance awareness about nutrition-age-related macular degeneration (AMD) links among practising and student dietitians then expanded the scope of this intervention to include general eye health, which was delivered to pharmacy students.<h4>Methods</h4>A pilot intervention was conducted in 2019 at the Dietitians Australia Conference (Gold Coast, Australia) where practising and student dietitians underwent a 2-hour small group educational workshop on nutrition and AMD links. Pre-post questionnaires were administered to participants, with voluntary completion of both questionnaires an indicator of consent to participate in the intervention. The primary intervention outcome was a change in AMD-related nutrition knowledge pre-post intervention. A larger intervention was then conducted at the University of Sydney (Sydney, Australia) where pharmacy students underwent a 4-hour educational module to improve general eye health knowledge, as well as student perceptions and attitudes towards a pharmacists' role in low vision care. Similarly, pre-post questionnaires were administered, with voluntary completion of both questionnaires an indicator of consent to participate in the intervention. The primary intervention outcomes were changes in total knowledge, total perception and total attitude scores pre-post intervention.<h4>Results</h4>(1) Among 10 accredited and 5 student dietitians, there was significant overall knowledge improvement (mean pre-post score: 7.07 ± 1.94 vs. 10.8 ± 1.01, p = 0.001) specifically around appropriate dietary advice, food sources of key AMD-related nutrients, and awareness of supplements. (2) Among 179 second-year pharmacy students enrolled in the 'Pharmacy Practice' Unit of Study (Bachelor of Pharmacy, University of Sydney), total eye health knowledge (6.25 ± 1.93 vs. 6.64 ± 2.0; p = 0.011) significantly improved, along with total perception scores (41.54 ± 5.26 vs. 42.45 ± 4.95; p = 0.004). Total attitude scores were not significantly different.<h4>Conclusions</h4>The pilot intervention improved relevant nutrition-AMD knowledge among practising/student dietitians. The modified intervention for pharmacy students also significantly improved general eye health knowledge as well as students' perception of a pharmacists' role in low vision care.
Project description:The importance of health workforce provision has gained significance and is now considered one of the most pressing issues worldwide, across all health professions. Against this background, the objectives of the work presented here were to systematically explore and identify contemporary issues surrounding expansion of the global pharmacy workforce in order to assist the International Pharmaceutical Federation working group on the workforce. International peer and non-peer-reviewed literature published between January 1998 and February 2008 was analysed. Articles were collated by performing searches of appropriate databases and reference lists of relevant articles; in addition, key informants were contacted. Information that met specific quality standards and pertained to the pharmacy workforce was extracted to matrices and assigned an evidence grade. Sixty-nine papers were identified for inclusion (48 peer reviewed and 21 non-peer-reviewed). Evaluation of evidence revealed the global pharmacy workforce to be composed of increasing numbers of females who were working fewer hours; this decreased their overall full-time equivalent contribution to the workforce, compared to male pharmacists. Distribution of pharmacists was uneven with respect to location (urban/rural, less-developed/more-developed countries) and work sector (private/public). Graduates showed a preference for completing pre-registration training near where they studied as an undergraduate; this was of considerable importance to rural areas. Increases in the number of pharmacy student enrollments and pharmacy schools occurred alongside an expansion in the number and roles of pharmacy technicians. Increased international awareness and support existed for the certification, registration and regulation of pharmacy technicians and accreditation of training courses. The most common factors adding to the demand for pharmacists were increased feminization, clinical governance measures, complexity of medication therapy and increased prescriptions. To maintain and expand the future pharmacy workforce, increases in recruitment and retention will be essential, as will decreases in attrition, where possible. However, scaling up the global pharmacy workforce is a complex, multifactorial responsibility that requires coordinated action. Further research by means of prospective and comparative methods, not only surveys, is needed into feminization; decreasing demand for postgraduate training; graduate trends; job satisfaction and the impact of pharmacy technicians; and how effective existing interventions are at expanding the pharmacy workforce. More coordinated monitoring and modelling of the pharmacy workforce worldwide (particularly in developing countries) is required.
Project description:Feedback is an effective pedagogy aimed to create cognitive dissonance and reinforce learning as a key component of clinical training programs. Pharmacy learners receive constant feedback. However, there is limited understanding of how feedback is utilized in pharmacy education. This scoping review sought to summarize the breadth and depth of the use of feedback within pharmacy education and identify areas for future research. PubMed, Embase, Scopus, and Web of Science were searched for English articles since January 2000 to identify studies related to feedback in pharmacy education. Sixty-four articles were included for analysis, stratified by moderate and major theory talk, where moderate theory talk explicitly included feedback into study design and major theory talk included feedback into both study design and analysis. Feedback was provided in Bachelor (14%), Master (15.6%), Doctor of Pharmacy (67.2%) and post-graduate programs (4.7%) on a variety of curricular objectives including communication and patient work up in didactic, objective structured clinical examination (OSCE), and experiential settings, and career/interview preparation in the co-curriculum. Feedback comments were mostly written in didactic courses, and both written and verbal in OSCE, experiential, and co-curricular settings. The pharmacy education feedback literature lacks depth beyond student perceptions, especially with respect to assessing the effectiveness and quality of feedback for learning. While feedback has been utilized throughout pharmacy education across myriad outcomes, several areas for inquiry exist which can inform the design of faculty and preceptor development programs, ensuring provision of effective, quality feedback to pharmacy learners.