Koninklijke Nederlandse Maatschappij ter Bevordering der Pharmacie
Pharmacy World & Science vol:31 issue:1 pages:50-51
ESCP Spring Conference edition:7 location:Edinburgh date:May 2007
Background and objective
Given the rapid evolution of knowledge and the changing role of the pharmacist in patient care, improving professional competence is a lifelong challenge. Previous work from our research centre revealed that gathering practical knowledge is one of the strongest facilitators for Flemish community pharmacists to participate in continuing education (CE) programs. Lectures still remain the most preferred instruction method, followed by interactive sessions. Our studies further indicate that the concept of patient-centred care has gained general interest1,2. Based on these findings, we developed and pilot tested an interactive, patient-centred course format (Project Patient Care) with oncology as the working theme.
In spring 2006, a CE course on oncology was organized by IPSA, the main provider of CE programs for community pharmacists in Flanders. The course consisted of five evening lectures, focusing on clinical and pharmacotherapeutic aspects as well as psychosocial dimensions of cancer. The interactive sessions, which were organised a few weeks later, consisted of two major parts: 1) small group discussions based on one prescription for a particular patient and 2) role plays based on the same prescriptions, with one of the course-participants as the pharmacist. Feedback was provided, both by participants and instructors, on pharmacotherapeutic aspects and communicative skills. Participants evaluated the interactive session on 11 items using a 4-point Likert-scale (1 = totally disagree; 4 = totally agree) and graded their overall satisfaction.
Interactive sessions on 8 different locations in Flanders. Number of participants varying between 3 and 16 community pharmacists.
Main Outcome Measures
Ability of the format to bridge the gap between information obtained from the lectures and its applicability in the pharmacy. Overall satisfaction with the interactive course format.
The pharmacists who participated in the pilot project (n=63) agreed that both the small group discussions and the role plays were good ways of processing the content of the lectures (mean scores 3.3 and 3.0 respectively). Participants gave an average appreciation of 16.6/20 with the course format. Additionally, 94% indicated that they would participate again if this kind of CE activity was organized later.
Although Flemish pharmacists are not yet used to interactive sessions, especially not to role playing, the evaluation of this pilot project shows a high satisfaction among participants on the course format. Results further indicate that both a problem-based pharmacotherapeutic approach and a communicative approach may contribute to the processing of the subject matter and hence to the improvement of professional competence.
(1) Driesen A, Leemans L, Baert H, Laekeman G. Pharmacy World and Science. 2005; 27: 447-452; (2) Driesen A, Airaksinen M, Simoens S, Laekeman G. International Journal of Pharmacy Practice (in press)