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.
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.
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: The study consisted of two phases. In Phase 1, a 10-item instrument (SAIL-10) was developed and tested on a cohort of medical and pharmacy students who attended the workshop. In Phase 2, different cohorts of medical and pharmacy students completed SAIL-10 before and after participating in the workshop.
RESULTS: Factor analysis showed that SAIL-10 has two domains: "facilitators of interprofessional learning" and "acceptance to learning in groups". The overall SAIL-10 and the two domains have adequate internal consistency and stable reliability. The total score and scores for the two domains were significantly higher after students attended the prescribing skills workshop.
CONCLUSIONS: This study produced a valid and reliable instrument, SAIL-10 which was used to demonstrate that the prescribing skills workshop, where medical and pharmacy students were placed in an authentic context, was a promising activity to promote interprofessional learning among future healthcare professionals.
METHODS: A cross-sectional survey was conducted via a validated 49-item questionnaire, administered immediately after all students completed the examination. The questionnaire comprised of questions to evaluate the content and structure of the examination, perception of OSCE validity and reliability, and rating of OSCE in relation to other assessment methods. Open-ended follow-up questions were included to generate qualitative data.
RESULTS: Over 80% of the students found the OSCE to be helpful in highlighting areas of weaknesses in their clinical competencies. Seventy-eight percent agreed that it was comprehensive and 66% believed it was fair. About 46% felt that the 15 minutes allocated per station was inadequate. Most importantly, about half of the students raised concerns that personality, ethnicity, and/or gender, as well as interpatient and inter-assessor variability were potential sources of bias that could affect their scores. However, an overwhelming proportion of the students (90%) agreed that the OSCE provided a useful and practical learning experience.
CONCLUSIONS: Students' perceptions and acceptance of the new method of assessment were positive. The survey further highlighted for future refinement the strengths and weaknesses associated with the development and implementation of an OSCE in the International Islamic University Malaysia's pharmacy curriculum.