Open AccessArticle
Comparison of Insulin Detemir and Insulin Glargine for Hospitalized Patients on a Basal-Bolus Protocol
Pharmacy 2017, 5(2), 22; doi:10.3390/pharmacy5020022 -
Abstract
BACKGROUND: The primary purpose of this study is to determine whether insulin detemir is equivalent to insulin glargine in controlling hyperglycemia for the adult hospitalized patient on a basal-bolus treatment regimen. METHODS: A retrospective study was conducted at two acute care hospitals within
[...] Read more.
BACKGROUND: The primary purpose of this study is to determine whether insulin detemir is equivalent to insulin glargine in controlling hyperglycemia for the adult hospitalized patient on a basal-bolus treatment regimen. METHODS: A retrospective study was conducted at two acute care hospitals within the same health system. Patients from both facilities who were initiated on a basal-bolus subcutaneous insulin regimen were included in the study. The basal-bolus regimen consisted of three components: basal, bolus, and corrective insulin with only the data from the first seven days analyzed. Once the basal-bolus protocol was initiated, all previous glycemic agents were discontinued. The target glycemic goal of the study was 100–180 mg/dL. RESULTS: In both groups, 50% of the patients had achieved the target glycemic control goal (100–180 mg/dL) by day 2 (p = 0.3). However, on the seventh or last day of basal-bolus treatment, whichever came first, 36.36% of patients receiving insulin detemir (n = 88) achieved the blood glucose reading goal compared to 52.00% in patients receiving insulin glargine (n = 100) (p = 0.03). This corresponded to an adjusted odds ratio of 2.12 (1.08 to 4.15), p = 0.03. The adjusting variables were provider type, whether the patient was hospitalized within 30 days prior and diagnosis of stroke. The mean blood glucose readings for the insulin glargine and the insulin detemir groups while on basal-bolus therapy were 200 mg/dL and 215 mg/dL, respectively (p = 0.05). The total number of blood glucose readings less than 70 mg/dL and less than 45 mg/dL was very low and there were no differences in number of episodes with hypoglycemia between the two groups. CONCLUSION: There was not a statistical difference between the two groups at 2 days, however there was on the seventh day or the last day of basal-bolus treatment. There were nonsignificant hypoglycemia events between basal insulin groups and the results for the last or seventh day of treatment may not be clinically significant in practice. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Drug Use before and during Pregnancy in Japan: The Japan Environment and Children’s Study
Pharmacy 2017, 5(2), 21; doi:10.3390/pharmacy5020021 -
Abstract
Purpose: To elucidate drug use before and during pregnancy in Japan. Methods: The Japan Environment and Children’s Study (JECS) is an ongoing nationwide birth cohort study. We analyzed data from JECS involving cases where drugs were used for 12 months before pregnancy was
[...] Read more.
Purpose: To elucidate drug use before and during pregnancy in Japan. Methods: The Japan Environment and Children’s Study (JECS) is an ongoing nationwide birth cohort study. We analyzed data from JECS involving cases where drugs were used for 12 months before pregnancy was diagnosed, between the time of diagnosis of pregnancy until week 12 of pregnancy, and after week 12 of pregnancy. Results: We analyzed data from 97,464 pregnant women. The percentages of pregnant women who had taken one or more drugs and supplements before diagnosis of pregnancy, between the time of diagnosis of pregnancy until week 12 of pregnancy, and after week 12 of pregnancy, were 78.4%, 57.1%, and 68.8% respectively. Excluding iron supplements, folic acid, and other vitamins and minerals, the percentages of women taking supplements were 75.3%, 36.0%, and 51.7% at each respective time point. The following drugs and supplements were frequently used for 12 months before pregnancy diagnosis: Commercially available antipyretics, analgesics, and/or medicine for treating common cold (34.7%), antipyretics, analgesics, and/or medicine for treating common colds, which were prescribed in hospitals (29.8%), antimicrobial drugs (14.0%), and anti-allergy drugs (12.5%). The following drugs and supplements were frequently used from the time of pregnancy diagnosis until week 12 of pregnancy, and after week 12 of pregnancy: folic acid (28.9% and 26.2%), antipyretics, analgesics and/or medicines for treating common cold, that were prescribed in hospitals (7.8% and 13.3%), Chinese herbal medicines (6.0% and 9.4%, and uterine relaxants (5.1% and 15.2%). Conclusions: The analysis of a nationwide cohort study showed that a high percentage of Japanese pregnant women were taking medicinal drugs. Further research is required to elucidate the relationship between drug use during pregnancy and birth defects in Japan. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Quality of Life and Medication Adherence of Independently Living Older Adults Enrolled in a Pharmacist-Based Medication Management Program
Pharmacy 2017, 5(2), 20; doi:10.3390/pharmacy5020020 -
Abstract
This study sought to understand the medication adherence and quality of life (QOL) of recipients of a pharmacist-based medication management program among independently living older adults. Using a cross-sectional, quasi-experimental study design, we compared older adults enrolled in the program to older adults
[...] Read more.
This study sought to understand the medication adherence and quality of life (QOL) of recipients of a pharmacist-based medication management program among independently living older adults. Using a cross-sectional, quasi-experimental study design, we compared older adults enrolled in the program to older adults not enrolled in the program. Data were collected via face-to-face interviews in independent-living facilities and in participants’ homes. Independently living older adults who were enrolled in the medication management program (n = 38) were compared to older adults not enrolled in the program (control group (n = 41)). All participants were asked to complete questionnaires on health-related quality of life (QOL, using the SF-36) and medication adherence (using the four-item Morisky scale). The medication management program recipients reported significantly more prescribed medications (p < 0.0001) and were more likely to report living alone (p = 0.01) than the control group. The medication management program recipients had a significantly lower SF-36 physical functioning score (p = 0.03) compared to the control group, although other SF-36 domains and self-reported medication adherence were similar between the groups. Despite taking more medications and more commonly living alone, independent living older adults enrolled in a pharmacist-based medication management program had similar QOL and self-reported medication adherence when compared to older adults not enrolled in the program. This study provides initial evidence for the characteristics of older adults receiving a pharmacist-based medication management program, which may contribute to prolonged independent living and positive health outcomes. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
The Production of the PHAR-QA Competence Framework
Pharmacy 2017, 5(2), 19; doi:10.3390/pharmacy5020019 -
Abstract
This article describes the background and methodology of the PHAR-QA (Quality Assurance in European Pharmacy Education and Training) project that produced a competence framework for pharmacy education and practice in the EU. In order to produce a harmonized competence framework that could be
[...] Read more.
This article describes the background and methodology of the PHAR-QA (Quality Assurance in European Pharmacy Education and Training) project that produced a competence framework for pharmacy education and practice in the EU. In order to produce a harmonized competence framework that could be accepted within the EU situation, we developed a two-stage Delphi process centred on two expert panels. A small panel of academics produced the competence framework that was then validated by the rankings of a large panel consisting of representatives of the EU pharmacy community. The main aspects of this process are developed in this article. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
The Implementation of Pharmacy Competence Teaching in Estonia
Pharmacy 2017, 5(2), 18; doi:10.3390/pharmacy5020018 -
Abstract
Background: The PHAR-QA, “Quality Assurance in European Pharmacy Education and Training”, project has produced the European Pharmacy Competence Framework (EPCF). The aim of this study was to evaluate the existing pharmacy programme at the University of Tartu, using the EPCF. Methods: A qualitative
[...] Read more.
Background: The PHAR-QA, “Quality Assurance in European Pharmacy Education and Training”, project has produced the European Pharmacy Competence Framework (EPCF). The aim of this study was to evaluate the existing pharmacy programme at the University of Tartu, using the EPCF. Methods: A qualitative assessment of the pharmacy programme by a convenience sample (n = 14) representing different pharmacy stakeholders in Estonia. EPCF competency levels were determined by using a five-point scale tool adopted from the Dutch competency standards framework. Mean scores of competency levels given by academia and other pharmacy stakeholders were compared. Results: Medical and social sciences, pharmaceutical technology, and pharmacy internship were more frequent subject areas contributing to EPCF competencies. In almost all domains, the competency level was seen higher by academia than by other pharmacy stakeholders. Despite on-board theoretical knowledge, the competency level at graduation could be insufficient for independent professional practice. Other pharmacy stakeholders would improve practical implementation of theoretical knowledge, especially to increase patient care competencies. Conclusions: The EPCF was utilized to evaluate professional competencies of entry-level pharmacists who have completed a traditional pharmacy curriculum. More efficient training methods and involvement of practicing specialists were suggested to reduce the gaps of the existing pharmacy programme. Applicability of competence teaching in Estonia requires more research and collaborative communication within the pharmacy sector. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Competence-Based Curricula in the Context of Bologna and EU Higher Education Policy
Pharmacy 2017, 5(2), 17; doi:10.3390/pharmacy5020017 -
Abstract
At the turn of the century European higher education policy became twin-track. The Bologna Process was launched and ran alongside developments in European legislation. Both tracks displayed a preoccupation with competences, in relation both to citizenship and to labour market needs. Scrutiny of
[...] Read more.
At the turn of the century European higher education policy became twin-track. The Bologna Process was launched and ran alongside developments in European legislation. Both tracks displayed a preoccupation with competences, in relation both to citizenship and to labour market needs. Scrutiny of important policy texts (Key Competences, the European Qualifications Framework, ECTS, the Bologna three-cycle degree structure) shows that ‘competence’ has never been given a precise and secure definition. Only very recently has the term entered the discourse of EU legislation on the recognition of professional qualifications. Current work on competence-based curricula in sectoral professions, including pharmacy, has helped bring the two policy tracks into closer alignment. The examples of competences identified in specific professional contexts can assist EU and Bologna policy-makers as they confront future challenges. Full article
Open AccessOpinion
Developing Professional Identity in Undergraduate Pharmacy Students: A Role for Self-Determination Theory
Pharmacy 2017, 5(2), 16; doi:10.3390/pharmacy5020016 -
Abstract
Professional identity development, seen as essential in the transition from student to professional, needs to be owned by the universities in order to ensure a workforce appropriately prepared to provide global health care in the future. The development of professional identity involves a
[...] Read more.
Professional identity development, seen as essential in the transition from student to professional, needs to be owned by the universities in order to ensure a workforce appropriately prepared to provide global health care in the future. The development of professional identity involves a focus on who the student is becoming, as well as what they know or can do, and requires authentic learning experiences such as practice exposure and interaction with pharmacist role models. This article examines conceptual frameworks aligned with professional identity development and will explore the role for self-determination theory (SDT) in pharmacy professional education. SDT explains the concepts of competence, relatedness and autonomy and the part they play in producing highly motivated individuals, leading to the development of one’s sense of self. Providing support for students in these three critical areas may, in accordance with the tenets of SDT, have the potential to increase motivation levels and their sense of professional identity. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessBrief Report
Empirical Assessment of the Impact of Low-Cost Generic Programs on Adherence-Based Quality Measures
Pharmacy 2017, 5(1), 15; doi:10.3390/pharmacy5010015 -
Abstract
In the United States, federally-funded health plans are mandated to measure the quality of care. Adherence-based medication quality metrics depend on completeness of administrative claims data for accurate measurement. Low-cost generic programs (LCGPs) cause medications fills to be missing from claims data as
[...] Read more.
In the United States, federally-funded health plans are mandated to measure the quality of care. Adherence-based medication quality metrics depend on completeness of administrative claims data for accurate measurement. Low-cost generic programs (LCGPs) cause medications fills to be missing from claims data as medications are not adjudicated through a patient’s insurance. This study sought to assess the magnitude of the impact of LCGPs on these quality measures. Data from the 2012–2013 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) were used. Medication fills for select medication classes were classified as LCGP fills and individuals were classified as never, sometimes, and always users of LCGPs. Individuals were classified based on insurance type (private, Medicare, Medicaid, dual-eligible). The proportion of days covered (PDC) was calculated for each medication class and the proportion of users with PDC ≥ 0.80 was reported as an observed metric for what would be calculated based on claims data and a true metric which included missing medication fills due to LCGPs. True measures of adherence were higher than the observed measures. The effect’s magnitude was highest for private insurance and for medication classes utilized more often through LCGPs. Thus, medication-based quality measures may be underestimated due to LCGPs. Full article
Open AccessArticle
How Two Small Pharmacy Schools’ Competency Standards Compare with an International Competency Framework and How Well These Schools Prepare Students for International Placements
Pharmacy 2017, 5(1), 14; doi:10.3390/pharmacy5010014 -
Abstract
International standards of pharmacy curricula are necessary to ensure student readiness for international placements. This paper explores whether curricula from two pharmacy programs, in Australia and Canada, are congruent with international standards and if students feel prepared for international placements. Nationally prescribed educational
[...] Read more.
International standards of pharmacy curricula are necessary to ensure student readiness for international placements. This paper explores whether curricula from two pharmacy programs, in Australia and Canada, are congruent with international standards and if students feel prepared for international placements. Nationally prescribed educational standards for the two schools were compared to each other and then against the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) Global Competency Framework. Written student reflections complemented this analysis. Mapping results suggested substantial agreement between the FIP framework and Australia and Canada, with two gaps being identified. Moreover, the students felt their programs prepared them for their international placements. Despite differences in countries, pharmacy programs, and health-systems all students acclimatized to their new practice sites. Implications are that if pharmacy programs align well with FIP, pharmacists should be able to integrate and practise in other jurisdictions that also align with the FIP. This has implications for the mobility of pharmacy practitioners to countries not of their origin of training. Full article
Open AccessReview
Does Competency-Based Education Have a Role in Academic Pharmacy in the United States?
Pharmacy 2017, 5(1), 13; doi:10.3390/pharmacy5010013 -
Abstract
Competency-based Education (CBE) is an educational model that allows students to learn and demonstrate their abilities at their own pace. CBE is growing in popularity in undergraduate educational programs and its role in pharmacy education in the United States (US) is under review.
[...] Read more.
Competency-based Education (CBE) is an educational model that allows students to learn and demonstrate their abilities at their own pace. CBE is growing in popularity in undergraduate educational programs and its role in pharmacy education in the United States (US) is under review. In comparison, medical education is utilizing competency-based approaches (such as competencies and Entrustable Professional Activities) to ensure that students possess the required knowledge, skills, and attitudes prior to graduation or program completion. The concept of competency-based approaches is growing in use in pharmacy education in the US, but the future related to aspects of this concept (e.g., mandatory Entrustable Professional Activities) is not certain. A review of pharmacy education’s evolution in the US and a comparison of competency-related terms offers insight into the future use of competency-based approaches and CBE in pharmacy education in the US through the lens of benefits and challenges. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
CPD Aligned to Competency Standards to Support Quality Practice
Pharmacy 2017, 5(1), 12; doi:10.3390/pharmacy5010012 -
Abstract
As medication experts, pharmacists are key members of the patient’s healthcare team. Pharmacists must maintain their competence to practice to remain responsive to the increasingly complex healthcare sector. This paper seeks to determine how competence training for pharmacists may enhance quality in their
[...] Read more.
As medication experts, pharmacists are key members of the patient’s healthcare team. Pharmacists must maintain their competence to practice to remain responsive to the increasingly complex healthcare sector. This paper seeks to determine how competence training for pharmacists may enhance quality in their professional development. Results of two separately administered surveys (2012 and 2013) were compared to examine the reported continued professional development (CPD) practices of Australian pharmacists. Examination of results from both studies enabled a focus on how the competency standards inform CPD practice.In the survey administered in 2012, 91% (n = 253/278) pharmacists reported that they knew their current registration requirements. However, in the survey administered in 2013, only 43% (n = 46/107) reported utilization of the National Competency Standards Framework for Pharmacists in Australia (NCS) to self-asses their practice as part of their annual re-registration requirements. Fewer, 23% (n = 25/107), used the NCS to plan their CPD. This may be symptomatic of poor familiarity with the NCS, uncertainty around undertaking self-directed learning as part of a structured learning plan and/or misunderstandings around what CPD should include. This is supported by thematic analysis of pharmacists’ social media comments. Initial and ongoing competence training to support meaningful CPD requires urgent attention in Australia. The competence (knowledge, skills and attributes) required to engage in meaningful CPD practice should be introduced and developed prior to entry into practice; other countries may find they are in a similar position. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Assessment of Knowledge of Diabetes Mellitus in the Urban Areas of Klang District, Malaysia
Pharmacy 2017, 5(1), 11; doi:10.3390/pharmacy5010011 -
Abstract
Diabetes is the most common cause of non-traumatic lower limb amputations and cardiovascular diseases. However, only a negligible percentage of the patients and subjects knew that the feet are affected in diabetes and diabetes affects the heart. Hence, a cross-sectional study was carried
[...] Read more.
Diabetes is the most common cause of non-traumatic lower limb amputations and cardiovascular diseases. However, only a negligible percentage of the patients and subjects knew that the feet are affected in diabetes and diabetes affects the heart. Hence, a cross-sectional study was carried out to evaluate the knowledge of diabetes mellitus among the public of different age group, gender, ethnicity, and education level. A sample of 400 participants was randomly selected and data was collected using a structured questionnaire under non-contrived setting. The results showed that there is a statistically significant difference in knowledge on diabetes mellitus among different age groups and different ethnic origin but there is no significant difference in the knowledge among different gender and education level. Out of 400 respondents, 284 respondents (71%) knew that diabetes mellitus is actually a condition characterized by raised blood sugar. Age and education level of respondents were found to be the predominant predictive factors on diabetes knowledge, whereas the gender of respondents did not affect the findings of this study. An improved and well-structured educational programme that tackles the areas of weaknesses should be recommended to increase the level of knowledge on diabetes among Malaysians. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Perceived Preparedness of Health Care Students for Providing Cardiovascular Disease Risk Assessment and Management
Pharmacy 2017, 5(1), 9; doi:10.3390/pharmacy5010009 -
Abstract
Early assessment and management of risk factors is known to have significant impact in preventing cardiovascular disease (CVD) and its associated burden. Cardiovascular disease risk assessment and management (CVDRAM) is best approached by teamwork across health care professionals. This study aimed at assessing
[...] Read more.
Early assessment and management of risk factors is known to have significant impact in preventing cardiovascular disease (CVD) and its associated burden. Cardiovascular disease risk assessment and management (CVDRAM) is best approached by teamwork across health care professionals. This study aimed at assessing health care students’ (HCSs) knowledge about the parameters needed for estimating CVD risk, their self-assessed preparedness/confidence and perceived barriers for the provision of CVDRAM services through a survey administered to third and fourth year pharmacy, medical, and nursing students in Qatar. Although all student cohorts achieved similar knowledge scores, less than half (n = 38, 47%) were able to identify all of the six main risk factors necessary to estimate absolute CVD risk, and a third (32%) were unable to identify total cholesterol as an independent risk factor necessary to estimate CVD risk. Training on the use of CVD risk assessment tools differed among the three student cohorts. All student cohorts also perceived similar levels of preparedness in CVDRAM. However, pharmacy students reported the highest preparedness/confidence with the use of the latest CVDRAM guidelines. The majority of statements listed under the barriers scale were perceived by the students as being moderate (median score = 3). Poor public acceptance or unawareness of importance of estimating CVD risk was the only barrier perceived as a major by nursing students. Future integration of interprofessional educational (IPE) activities in the CVDRAM curricula of HCSs may be a suitable strategy to minimize barriers and foster collaborative practice for the provision of CVDRAM services in Qatar. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
A Comparison of Competences for Healthcare Professions in Europe
Pharmacy 2017, 5(1), 8; doi:10.3390/pharmacy5010008 -
Abstract
In Europe and elsewhere, there is increasing interest in competence-based education (CBE) and training for professional practice in healthcare. This review presents competences for pharmacy practice in Europe and compares them with those for medicine and dentistry. Comparisons amongst competence frameworks were made
[...] Read more.
In Europe and elsewhere, there is increasing interest in competence-based education (CBE) and training for professional practice in healthcare. This review presents competences for pharmacy practice in Europe and compares them with those for medicine and dentistry. Comparisons amongst competence frameworks were made by matching the European Directive for Professional Qualifications in sectoral professions such as healthcare (EU directive) with the frameworks of competences elaborated by European consortia in pharmacy (PHAR-QA), medicine (MEDINE), and dentistry (ADEE). The results show that the recommendations of the EU directive for all three professions are similar. There is also widespread similarity in the formulation of competences for all healthcare professions. Furthermore, for medicine and pharmacy, the rankings by practitioners of the vast majority of competences are similar. These results lay the foundations for the design of more interdisciplinary educational programs for healthcare professionals, and for the development of team-based care. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
Implementation of Competency-Based Pharmacy Education (CBPE)
Pharmacy 2017, 5(1), 10; doi:10.3390/pharmacy5010010 -
Abstract
Implementation of competency-based pharmacy education (CBPE) is a time-consuming, complicated process, which requires agreement on the tasks of a pharmacist, commitment, institutional stability, and a goal-directed developmental perspective of all stakeholders involved. In this article the main steps in the development of a
[...] Read more.
Implementation of competency-based pharmacy education (CBPE) is a time-consuming, complicated process, which requires agreement on the tasks of a pharmacist, commitment, institutional stability, and a goal-directed developmental perspective of all stakeholders involved. In this article the main steps in the development of a fully-developed competency-based pharmacy curriculum (bachelor, master) are described and tips are given for a successful implementation. After the choice for entering into CBPE is made and a competency framework is adopted (step 1), intended learning outcomes are defined (step 2), followed by analyzing the required developmental trajectory (step 3) and the selection of appropriate assessment methods (step 4). Designing the teaching-learning environment involves the selection of learning activities, student experiences, and instructional methods (step 5). Finally, an iterative process of evaluation and adjustment of individual courses, and the curriculum as a whole, is entered (step 6). Successful implementation of CBPE requires a system of effective quality management and continuous professional development as a teacher. In this article suggestions for the organization of CBPE and references to more detailed literature are given, hoping to facilitate the implementation of CBPE. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
A Curriculum Challenge—The Need for Outcome (Competence) Descriptors
Pharmacy 2017, 5(1), 7; doi:10.3390/pharmacy5010007 -
Abstract
Some outcomes around, for example, communication have been extensively theorised; others such as accountability have been relatively neglected in the teaching and learning literature. The question therefore is: if we do not have a clear understanding of the outcome, can we systematically apply
[...] Read more.
Some outcomes around, for example, communication have been extensively theorised; others such as accountability have been relatively neglected in the teaching and learning literature. The question therefore is: if we do not have a clear understanding of the outcome, can we systematically apply good practice principles in course design such that students are able to achieve the outcomes the community and the profession expect? This paper compares and contrasts the literature around competency outcomes regarding students’ communication skills and the development of accountability and proposes a model to guide the selection of teaching and assessment approaches for accountability, based on the students’ sphere of influence. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Developing a Model for Pharmaceutical Palliative Care in Rural Areas—Experience from Scotland
Pharmacy 2017, 5(1), 6; doi:10.3390/pharmacy5010006 -
Abstract
Palliative care is increasingly delivered in the community but access to medicines, particularly ‘out of hours’ remains problematic. This paper describes the experience of developing a model to deliver pharmaceutical palliative care in rural Scotland via the MacMillan Rural Palliative Care Pharmacist Practitioner
[...] Read more.
Palliative care is increasingly delivered in the community but access to medicines, particularly ‘out of hours’ remains problematic. This paper describes the experience of developing a model to deliver pharmaceutical palliative care in rural Scotland via the MacMillan Rural Palliative Care Pharmacist Practitioner (MRPP) project. The focus of the service was better integration of the MRPP into different care settings and professional teams, and to develop educational resources for the wider MDT including Care Home and Social Care staff on medicine related issues in palliative care. A variety of integration activities are reported in the paper with advice on how to achieve this. Similarly, many resources were developed, including bespoke training on pharmaceutical matters for Care Home staff. The experience allowed for a three step service and sustainability model for community pharmacy palliative care services to be developed. Moving through the steps, the key roles and responsibilities of the MRPP gradually shift towards the local Community Pharmacist(s), with the MRPP starting from a locality-based hands-on role to a wider supportive facilitating role for local champions. It is acknowledged that successful delivery of the model is dependent on alignment of resources, infrastructure and local community support. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Pharmacy Students’ Attitudes and Perceptions of “Virtual Worlds” as an Instructional Tool for Clinical Pharmacy Teaching
Pharmacy 2017, 5(1), 5; doi:10.3390/pharmacy5010005 -
Abstract
The objectives of this study were to explore pharmacy students’ perceptions and experiences of three-dimensional virtual worlds (3DVWs) as an instructional tool for clinical pharmacy teaching. Semi-structured interviews were carried out with Master of Science in Pharmacy students who had participated in communicative
[...] Read more.
The objectives of this study were to explore pharmacy students’ perceptions and experiences of three-dimensional virtual worlds (3DVWs) as an instructional tool for clinical pharmacy teaching. Semi-structured interviews were carried out with Master of Science in Pharmacy students who had participated in communicative exercises in a 3DVW. Interviews were digitally recorded, transcribed and analyzed using thematic analysis. More than half of the students were positive to using 3DVWs for educational purposes and see the advantages of having a setting where communication can be practiced in an authentic but ‘safe’ environment available online. However, many students also reported technical difficulties in using the 3DVW which impacted negatively on the learning experience. Perceived ease of use and usefulness of 3DVWs appears to play an important role for students. The students’ level of engagement relates to not only their computer skills, but also to the value they place on 3DVWs as an instructional tool. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
Soothing Properties of Glycerol in Cough Syrups for Acute Cough Due to Common Cold
Pharmacy 2017, 5(1), 4; doi:10.3390/pharmacy5010004 -
Abstract
The treatment and management of acute cough due to common cold costs billions of dollars of healthcare expenditure and there is a growing opinion that a simple linctus containing glycerol with flavourings such as honey and lemon is a safe and effective treatment
[...] Read more.
The treatment and management of acute cough due to common cold costs billions of dollars of healthcare expenditure and there is a growing opinion that a simple linctus containing glycerol with flavourings such as honey and lemon is a safe and effective treatment for acute cough in children and adults. Glycerol is a component of most cough syrups, and although it is often thought of only as a solvent or thickening agent in cough syrups, it may be a major component for the efficacy of cough syrups due to its special properties of lubrication, demulcency, sweetness, and acting as a humectant. The major benefit of cough syrups in soothing cough is likely due to the properties of the syrup rather than the active ingredients and this review discusses the special properties of glycerol in relation to the treatment of acute cough. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
From Learning to Decision-Making: A Cross-Sectional Survey of a Clinical Pharmacist-Steered Journal Club
Pharmacy 2017, 5(1), 3; doi:10.3390/pharmacy5010003 -
Abstract
Journal clubs have been traditionally incorporated into academic training programs to enhance competency in the interpretation of literature. We designed a structured journal club (JC) to improve skills in the interpretation of literature; however, we were not aware of how learners (interns, residents,
[...] Read more.
Journal clubs have been traditionally incorporated into academic training programs to enhance competency in the interpretation of literature. We designed a structured journal club (JC) to improve skills in the interpretation of literature; however, we were not aware of how learners (interns, residents, clinical pharmacists, etc.) would perceive it. We aimed to assess the perception of learners at different levels of pharmacy training. A cross-sectional design was used. A self-administered online survey was emailed to JC attendees from 2010–2014 at King Abdulaziz Medical City, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The survey questions included: introduction sessions, topic selection, JC layout, interaction with the moderator, and decision-making skills by clinical pharmacists. The response rate was 58/89 (65%); 52/54 (96%) respondents believed that JC adds to their knowledge in interpreting literature. Topic selection met the core curriculum requirements for credentials exams for 16/36 (44.4%), while 16/22 (73%) presenters had good to excellent interaction with the moderator. JC facilitated decision-making for 10/12 (83%) of clinical pharmacists. The results suggest that clinical pharmacist-steered JC may serve as an effective tool to empower learners at different levels of pharmacy practice, with evidence-based principles for interpretation of literature and guide informed decision-making. Full article
Figures

Figure 1