Objective: Over the last two decades the pharmacy profession has seen a major revision to patient-focused teaching and practice. This study evaluated the perceived impact of experiential clinical pharmacy placements on students' preparedness to provide patient-centered care. Methods: This cross-sectional study among Bachelor of Pharmacy (BPharm) final-year students used a validated self-administered questionnaire, administered before and after the students' clinical placements undertaken at hospitals. Subjects' responses were rated on a 7-point Likert scale anchored at 1 (not at all) and 7 (very well prepared). The Wilcoxon test was applied to assess the differences in pre- and post-mean scores of individual items. Results: One hundred six students agreed to participate in the study. Despite the low percentage of clinical curricular content coverage, significant augmentation in post-placement overall mean scores in aspects of patient-centered care was found; therapeutic (4.8 vs 3.5; 38.3% change), psycho-social (4.9 vs 4.1, 19.5% change) and communication skills (5.05 vs 3.9, 30.8% change) aspects of patient-centered care were noted. The mean score for each item in the three aspects increased from pre- to post-clinical placements and were statistically significant (p<0.05). Conclusion: Perceived patient centered care skills grow as the students' complete coursework, and changes to that coursework, including clinical learning, can impact both actual and perceived patient-centered-care competencies. The findings highlight areas for curriculum improvement and this evaluation reinforces the need for experiential placements in the BPharm curriculum. There is value in the development of pharmacy practice skills which occurs during undergraduate placements through experiential learning.
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Currents in Pharmacy Teaching and Learning|
|Early online date||6 Apr 2013|
|Publication status||Published - Jul 2013|