METHODS: A cross-sectional study was conducted by enrolling 937 students, pharmacy (437) and non-pharmacy (500), of Punjab University, Lahore. A self-administered questionnaire was used for data collection. Data were analyzed using SPSS. (IBM v22).
RESULTS: Data suggested that majority of students knew about the use of traditional herbs and considered massage (P: 84.4%, NP: 82%, p = 0.099), homeopathy, herbs (P: 86.5%, NP: 81%, p = 0.064], yoga [P: 357 (81.7%), NP: 84%), p = 0.42] and spiritual healing (P: 85.6%, NP: 86.2%, p = 0.55) as effective and least harmful CAM modalities. The pharmacy students had better knowledge about CAM modalities compared to non-pharmacy students. Despite utilizing non-reliable sources of CAM information and their belief that CAM is practiced by quacks, the majority of students had positive attitudes and perceptions about CAM usage. Students also believed that CAM had a positive impact on health outcomes [P: 3.19 ± 1.04, NP: 3.02 ± 1.09, p = 0.008] and acceded to include CAM in the pharmacy curriculum. However, non-pharmacy students scored higher in their beliefs that CAM usage should be discouraged due to the non-scientific basis of CAM (P: 3.04 ± 0.97, NP: 3.17 ± 1.02, p = 0.028) and a possible threat to public health (P: 3.81 ± 1.74, NP: 4.06 ± 1.56, p = 0.02). On the other hand, pharmacy students believed that patients might get benefits from CAM modalities (P: 4.31 ± 1.48, NP: 4.12 ± 1.45, p = 0.02). Majority of students perceived that spiritual healing is the most useful and safer CAM modality, while acupuncture (P: 25.4%, NP: 21.8%, p = 0.0005), hypnosis (P: 26.8%, NP: 19.6%, p = 0.001) and chiropractic (P: 18.8%, NP: 11.6%, p = 0.0005) were among the harmful ones.
CONCLUSION: In conclusion, despite poor knowledge about CAM, students demonstrated positive attitudes and beliefs regarding CAM. They exhibited better awareness about yoga, spiritual healing/prayer, herbs, and massage. Students also showed willingness to advance their knowledge about CAM and favored its inclusion in the curriculum.
METHODS: This cross-sectional study employed a validated, self-administered questionnaire which was administered to 543 first-year pharmacy students from nine different private universities. Factor analysis was utilised to extract key factors from the responses. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyse the data.
KEY FINDINGS: Eight factors motivating students' decision to study pharmacy emerged from the responses, accounting for 63.8% of the variance observed. Students were primarily motivated by intrinsic interests, with work conditions and profession attributes also exerting significant influence. In terms of choice of private university, nine factors were identified, accounting for 73.8% of the variance observed. The image of the school and university were most influential factors in this context, followed by university safety, programme attributes and financial factors.
CONCLUSIONS: First-year pharmacy students in the private higher education sector are motivated by intrinsic interest when choosing to study pharmacy over other courses, while their choice of private university is influenced primarily by the image of the school and university.
DESIGN: We introduced the shared learning experience in clinical pharmacy and pharmacotherapeutic practice experiences involving 87 third-year and 51 fourth-year students. Both student groups undertook the practice experiences together, with third-year students working in smaller groups mentored by fourth-year students.
ASSESSMENT: A majority of the students (> 75%) believed that they learned to work as a team during their practice experiences and that the shared learning approach provided an opportunity to practice their communication skills. Similarly, most respondents (> 70%) agreed that the new approach would help them become effective members of the healthcare team and would facilitate their professional relationships in future practice. Almost two-thirds of the students believed that the shared learning enhanced their ability to understand clinical problems. However, about 31% of the pharmacy students felt that they could have learned clinical problem-solving skills equally well working only with peers from their own student group.
CONCLUSIONS: The pharmacy students in the current study generally believed that the shared-learning approach enhanced their ability to understand clinical problems and improved their communication and teamwork skills. Both groups of students were positive that they had acquired some skills through the shared-learning approach.
METHODS: A 23-item survey instrument that included a question on the bioequivalence limits and Likert-type scale questions regarding the understanding and perceptions of generic medicines among the students was executed. Cronbach's alpha was found to be 0.62.
RESULTS: Responses were obtained from 236 final-year Doctor of Pharmacy students (n=85 from a publicly funded institute; n=151 from a privately funded institute). When comparing a brand-name medicine to a generic medicine, pharmacy students scored poorly on bioequivalence limits. More than 80% of the students incorrectly answered that all the products that are rated as generic equivalents are therapeutically equivalent to each other (P<0.04). Half of the students agreed that a generic medicine is bioequivalent to the brand-name medicine (P<0.001). With regard to quality, effectiveness, and safety, more than 75% of the students disagreed that generic medicines are of inferior quality and are less effective than brand-name medicines (P<0.001). More than 50% of the students disagreed that generic medicines produce more side effects than brand-name medicines (P<0.001).
CONCLUSION: The current study identified a positive perception toward generic medicines but also gaps in the understanding of generic medicines. Pharmacy students lacked a thorough understanding of the concepts of bioequivalence. Pharmacy academia should address these issues, which will help build confidence in generic medicines and increase the generic medicine use in Pakistan.
METHODS: A validated self-administered questionnaire was used in this cross-sectional study to collect data from final-year BPharm students enrolled at 3 government-funded universities and 1 private university in Malaysia. Both descriptive and inferential statistics were used for data analysis.
RESULTS: Three hundred fourteen students responded (213 from public universities and 101 from the private university). Approximately 32% of public university students and 37% of private university students ranked their own interest in pharmacy as the reason for undertaking pharmacy degree studies; 40.4% of public and 19.8% of private university respondents stated that they would enter a nonpharmacy-related career upon graduation if given the choice. Public university students ranked hospital pharmacy as their choice of first career setting (4.39, p = 0.001), while private students ranked community pharmacy first (4.1, p = 0.002). On a scale of 1 to 5, salary received the highest mean score (3.9 and 4.0, p = 0.854) as the extrinsic factor most influencing their career choice.
CONCLUSIONS: Final-year students at Malaysian public universities were most interested in hospital pharmacy practice as their first career step upon graduation, while private university students were most interested in community pharmacy. The top 3 extrinsic factors rated as significant in selecting a career destination were salary, benefits, and geographical location.
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.