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The understanding of core pharmacological concepts among health care students in their final semester

Journal article
Authors Patrik Aronsson
Shirley Booth
Staffan Hägg
Karin I Kjellgren
Ann Zetterqvist
Gunnar Tobin
Margareta Reis
Published in BMC Medical Education
Volume 15 (1)
Pages 235
ISSN 1472-6920
Publication year 2015
Published at Department of Pedagogical, Curricular and Professional Studies
Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Pharmacology
Pages 235
Language en
Links www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/P...
Subject categories Pharmacology, Learning

Abstract

Abstract Background: The overall aim of the study was to explore health care students ́ understanding of core concepts in pharmacology. Method: An interview study was conducted among twelve students in their final semester of the medical program (n = 4), the nursing program (n = 4), and the specialist nursing program in primary health care (n = 4) from two Swedish universities. The participants were individually presented with two pharmacological clinically relevant written patient cases, which they were to analyze and propose a solution to. Participants were allowed to use the Swedish national drug formulary. Immediately thereafter the students were interviewed about their assessments. The interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim. A thematic analysis was used to identify units of meaning in each interview. The units were organized into three clusters: pharmacodynamics, pharmacokinetics, and drug interactions. Subsequent procedure consisted of scoring the quality of students ́ understanding of core concepts. Non-parametric statistics were employed. Results: The study participants were in general able to define pharmacological concepts, but showed less ability to discuss the meaning of the concepts in depth and to implement these in a clinical context. The participants found it easier to grasp concepts related to pharmacodynamics than pharmacokinetics and drug interactions. Conclusion: These results indicate that education aiming to prepare future health care professionals for understanding of more complex pharmacological reasoning and decision-making needs to be more focused and effective.

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