Pharmacy Practice Faculty Publications

The Impact of a Research Course on Pharmacy Students’ Perceptions of Research and Evidence-based Practice

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Currents in Pharmacy Teaching and Learning





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Background: Pharmacists need be able to understand and utilize evidence from the literature to provide optimal patient care as well as participate in research to improve care. Thus, it is important for pharmacy students to acquire skills in research and evidence-based practice (EBP).

Objectives: To evaluate the changes in pharmacy student (1) perceptions of research and EBP, (2) interest in research participation, and (3) confidence in understanding the research process and developing a research proposal after completing a research course.

Methods: First-year professional pharmacy students completed a required one-semester research course. Study objectives were assessed pre- and post-semester using a survey that contained seven demographic items, nine Research Perceptions items, and 17 Confidence in Research items (5-point Likert scale; 1 = not at all confident, and 5 = extremely confident). Two years of data were collected (2012: N = 49, 2013: N = 53) and analyzed using Wilcoxon signedrank tests and Mann–Whitney U tests as appropriate. Results: Significant improvements were seen in students’ perceptions of the importance (2012: p = 0.022, 2013: p = 0.042) and usefulness of research (p = 0.022). Students’ confidence significantly increased on all items for both years (p < 0.001). There was no significant change in student plans to perform or participate in future research. More students planned to use EBP in their practice post-semester in 2013 (p = 0.008).

Conclusions: A research course can be an effective way to increase student confidence in research and improve perceptions on the importance and usefulness of research and EBP. It may not be an effective way to increase student interest in research as a career.


Perceptions, research, evidence-based practice, pharmacy student, curriculum