DESIGN: A required 2-credit-hour course was designed to provide an overview of public health pharmacy roles and the behavioral aspects of human healthcare issues. Graded activities included nursing home visits, in-class quizzes, mini-projects, and poster sessions, and a comprehensive final examination.
ASSESSMENT: The majority of the students performed well on the class activities and 93 (71.5%) of the 130 students enrolled received a grade of B or higher. A Web-based survey was administered at the end of the semester and 90% of students indicated that they had benefited from the course and were glad that it was offered. The majority of students agreed that the course made an impact in preparing them for their future role as pharmacists and expanded their understanding of the public health roles of a pharmacist.
CONCLUSIONS: A public health pharmacy course was successfully designed and implemented in the BPharm curriculum. This study highlighted the feasibilities of introducing courses that are of global relevance into a Malaysian pharmacy curriculum. The findings from the students' evaluation suggest the needs to incorporate a similar course in all pharmacy schools in the country and will be used as a guide to improve the contents and methods of delivery of the course at our school.
METHODOLOGY: This was a descriptive cross-sectional study conducted among pharmacy students in four pharmacy schools located in Andhra Pradesh in South India. This study was conducted from the August to September 2014. The study population included all pharmacy students enrolled in Doctor of Pharmacy, Bachelor of Pharmacy and Diploma in Pharmacy programs in studied pharmacy schools. The pretested AYUSH survey had 8 questions on AYUSH related beliefs and 8 question on AYUSH related attitudes. The survey also asked participants about AYUSH related knowledge, frequency of use of AYUSH and the reason for using AYUSH. The data analysis was performed using SPSS Version 20. Chi-square test and Mann-Whitney U-test were employed to study the association between the independent and dependent variables.
RESULTS: A total of 428 pharmacy students participated in the survey. 32.2% of the study population was females and 32.5% of the population resided in rural areas. Males were more likely to have positive beliefs about AYUSH when compared to females (odd ratio [OR] = 4.62, confidence interval [CI] = 2.37-8.99, P < 0.001). Similarly, students living in hostels were more positive in their beliefs about AYUSH compared with students living at home (OR = 2.14, CI = 1.12-4.07, P < 0.05). Students living in hostel also had a positive attitude about AYUSH use (OR = 1.74, CI = 1.03-2.93, P < 0.05).
CONCLUSION: Pharmacy students held favorable attitude and beliefs about AYUSH use. This baseline survey provides important information about the pharmacy student's perception about AYUSH. Further research is needed to explore the reasons that shape the pharmacy student's beliefs and attitudes about AYUSH.