Pharmacy Practice Faculty Publications


Confidence of Student Pharmacists in Drug Abuse Training

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Publication Date


Journal Title

Journal of the American Pharmacists Association





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Objective: The goal of this project is to increase student pharmacist confidence in their knowledge of prescription drug abuse consequences and dangers and their confidence in openly discussing the issue of prescription drug abuse.

Methods: Team-based learning (TBL) utilizes active learning to promote self-directed, deep learning and enhance adaptability in problem-solving situations. To prepare students to develop and participate in an American Pharmacists Association–Academy of Student Pharmacists GenerationRx program, a TBL-based educational session was created. Prior to the session, student pharmacists completed readings on prescription drug abuse. During the 2-hour session, the students completed an instrument (7-point Likert-type; 19 items) assessing their confidence regarding prescription drug abuse knowledge and communicating with others regarding this issue as well as gathering demographic information (10 items). Afterward, the students participated in an individual readiness assessment (iRAT) to assess what they learned from the reading, a team readiness assessment (tRAT) to allow for deeper learning through group discussions of the iRAT questions, and an application exercise, where they interacted in groups to examine scenarios and identify relevant solutions that may occur in future pharmacy practice. Student pharmacists then developed the GenerationRx presentation, and during October 2014, they will present to local middle schools. In December 2014, the same survey instrument assessing confidence will be administered and pre-post changes in confidence will be analyzed using a Wilcoxon signed-rank test.

Results: A total of 39 students (n = 18 pre-pharmacy; n = 21 professional) completed baseline assessment. The median confidence regarding knowledge and communicating with others was somewhat confident (median = 5) or confident (median = 6) for all items. Data collection is ongoing with anticipated completion in December 2014. With the increasing prevalence of prescription drug abuse, pharmacists now have a greater responsibility to reach out to their communities. The results gained from this project will assist in the modification of training exercises and building confidence in student pharmacists to prepare them to engage communities now and in their future practice.


Prescription drug abuse, training, student pharmacists, confidence