PPA News

Posted by: Matthew Helms on Apr 24, 2017

The PPAG Advocacy Committee is pleased to announce that Lea Eiland, PharmD and Amber Hutchison from Auburn University's Harrison School of Pharmacy have won the Scholarship in Teaching Award for their work incorporating pediatric-related concepts into a pharmacy skills laboratory course sequence. The Award will be presented during the 26th Annual PPAG Meeting in Charlotte, NC on May 5, 2017 

The following is an abstract of their work.

Introduction: Pediatric pharmacy organizations have called for teaching basic pediatric knowledge and expanding the pediatric content within pharmacy curriculums. As current curriculums continue to increase integration of special population concepts throughout the curriculum, individual courses focused to pediatrics may be removed. However, variations of a pharmacy skills laboratory (PSL) remain a core component of most PharmD curriculums which provides creative opportunities for integration of these topics. The objective of our study was to evaluate the incorporation of pediatric concepts into a PSL course sequence. Secondary outcomes were to describe the incorporation and evaluate the assessment effectiveness of these topics.

Methods: Teaching materials and pharmacy student assessment data from the six-semester PSL course sequence over four academic years were evaluated for inclusion of content regarding the pediatric population. PSL sessions including pediatrics were noted in a database documenting the course semester, year, PSL session title, description of the PSL activity and patient age in the PSL activity. In addition, it was noted if the topic had lab readiness assessment (LRA) quiz items, exam items, or objective structured clinical exam (OSCE) assessments related to a pediatric patient and if so, assessment data was retrieved and analyzed. Lastly, topics of inclusion were compared to the recommendations from pharmacy organizations.

Results: Materials reviewed from 205 PSL sessions held over 4 years demonstrated 48 (23.4%) sessions incorporated pediatric age-related topics using a variety of methods. Concepts were presented using patient cases with and without progression and what if scenarios. Role playing simulations were utilized for interviewing and patient counseling skills. LRA quiz and exam item performance was acceptable with an average difficulty index of 79.14% (SD 16.9, n=27 questions) and 86.1% (SD 15.8, n=94 questions), respectively. Median scores were higher than averages. The discrimination indexes and point biserial correlations of questions were rated of moderate to good quality. There were nine pediatric focused OSCEs of which the average score was also satisfactory at 86.3% (SD 4.4). In evaluating pediatric education recommendations from pharmacy organizations, our PSL course curriculum meets a majority of the recommendations for developing practitioners with the needed knowledge, skills, and attitudes to care for pediatric patients. Additional PSL sessions were identified for incorporating pediatric concepts into future course offerings.

Conclusion: The education of age-related special population care is necessary as delineated by both accrediting and professional organizations. One innovative way to ensure inclusion of these topics is to incorporate concepts related to age into a PSL curriculum within schools of pharmacy. Pediatric-related topics were included in several PSL sessions throughout our course curriculum. These incorporation strategies were effective as students performed satisfactorily on written and performance assessments. Other institutions should evaluate and subsequently identify pediatric concepts appropriate to incorporate into future PSL curriculum design.