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Volume 10, February

Pharmacy, Volume 10, Issue 2 (April 2022) – 12 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Engaging patients as stakeholders in research can help to build trust, which is critical when focusing on health disparities experienced by underserved/marginalized populations. Building on prior work to develop and pilot a brief version of a culturally adapted intervention to address psychosocial barriers to medication adherence among African Americans, a community-engaged study design was used to elicit feedback to inform the refinement of the full 8-week intervention. A series of meetings were held with two cohorts of patient advisory boards of African Americans with type 2 diabetes who were adherent to their diabetes medicines. Inclusion of African Americans with type 2 diabetes in the study contributed to further tailoring the intervention to the specific needs of this population. View this paper.
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Article
Evaluating Students’ COVID-19 Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices (COVKAP) during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Pharmacy 2022, 10(2), 46; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pharmacy10020046 - 18 Apr 2022
Viewed by 934
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic led to significant disruption in students’ lives through lockdowns, restricted movement, remote instruction, and mixed information. Therefore, this study aimed to capture the knowledge, attitudes, and practices of student pharmacists during 2020–2021. A 43-item COVID-19 Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices (COVKAP) [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic led to significant disruption in students’ lives through lockdowns, restricted movement, remote instruction, and mixed information. Therefore, this study aimed to capture the knowledge, attitudes, and practices of student pharmacists during 2020–2021. A 43-item COVID-19 Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices (COVKAP) survey previously developed was administered at four schools of pharmacy across the U.S. during Fall 2020 and Spring 2021. A total of 418 responses were analyzed from graduating classes of 2021–2024. There were no significant differences in correct COVID-19 knowledge responses across the four graduating years. Respondents’ attitudes around COVID-19 were homogenous with the exception for their belief in their preparedness to administer COVID-19 vaccines. Respondents reported wearing masks daily (76.8%), infrequently visiting restaurants (82.1%), practicing social distancing daily (45.7%), and referring to medical journals for information (72%). In conclusion, during the pandemic, student pharmacists experienced significant changes in their academic lives. Their knowledge and subsequent attitudes and practices were consistent with the state of evidence during Fall 2020 and Spring 2021. Subsequently, as newer information has emerged, the authors suggest that the COVKAP survey may be modified and administered frequently to address student needs and concerns as the pandemic evolves. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Insights into Pharmacy Teaching and Learning during COVID-19)
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Article
Digital Storytelling Review in a Pharmacy Self-Care Course
Pharmacy 2022, 10(2), 45; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pharmacy10020045 - 15 Apr 2022
Viewed by 899
Abstract
Digital storytelling is a type of active learning that allows instructors to simulate real-life situations through a series of connected videos. While this technique has been used in other healthcare education disciplines, its use in pharmacy has not been well documented. A digital [...] Read more.
Digital storytelling is a type of active learning that allows instructors to simulate real-life situations through a series of connected videos. While this technique has been used in other healthcare education disciplines, its use in pharmacy has not been well documented. A digital storytelling model was incorporated in a required self-care pharmacy course to assess if the technique was helpful to improve the knowledge, confidence, and satisfaction of students. Due to a shift in online learning, the self-care course offered a remote exam review session containing a digital storytelling model, and this approach was compared to an in-person exam review that followed a lecture-based model held earlier in the course. Pre- and post-knowledge assessments were given to determine the impact of the digital storytelling review. There were 50 students involved in both sessions and there was a 70% response rate in the digital storytelling group and a 90% response rate in the lecture-based group. Students’ knowledge numerically improved, but not to a statistically significant level for most questions. Nonetheless, students reported more confidence (p < 0.05) in their ability to pass the upcoming exam following the digital storytelling review. Thematic analysis revealed that the digital storytelling session was engaging and interactive, though time-management and breakout rooms could be further optimized. Based on these results, exam review in a required self-care pharmacy course using a digital storytelling format may be a suitable method for students to apply course content and may particularly be of utility in online or hybrid courses. Full article
Article
Impact of a Prepharmacy Program on Students’ Self-Awareness of Pharmacist Professional Identity: Comparison between Virtual and In-Person Settings
Pharmacy 2022, 10(2), 44; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pharmacy10020044 - 09 Apr 2022
Viewed by 1033
Abstract
Ensuring an adequate preparation for undergraduate students transitioning to pharmacy school is challenging. A significant barrier is changing from a subordinate to a critical thinking mindset while self-identifying as a professional. Here, we aimed to (1) determine whether our prepharmacy program called “ [...] Read more.
Ensuring an adequate preparation for undergraduate students transitioning to pharmacy school is challenging. A significant barrier is changing from a subordinate to a critical thinking mindset while self-identifying as a professional. Here, we aimed to (1) determine whether our prepharmacy program called “Professional Identity and Me” (PRIME) could enhance learners’ self-awareness of their professional identity and (2) compare the effectiveness of the in-person and online versions of PRIME. PRIME introduced prepharmacy students to aspects of pharmacists’ professional identity including community, hospital, and interprofessional work, as well as mental health, wellness, and time and stress management skills, Top-200 drugs, prerequisite foundational sciences, and calculations. Concepts of professionalism, graduate writing, and ownership were also presented. Bridging exercises were introduced to exemplify application. We used a mixed-methods approach to assess the outcomes. The average performance in knowledge-based assessments increased before and after the PRIME program from 53.8 to 74.6% and from 47.7 to 75.9%, while the difference in the test scores was statistically significant, with a 21% increase (p < 0.001, 95% CI 15–26%) and a 28% improvement (p < 0.001, 95% CI 23–34%) for face-to-face versus virtual PRIME. The results of a student perception survey revealed PRIME was equally effective as a virtual program during the COVID-19 pandemic, suggesting transferability to other pharmacy programs. Full article
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Review
Exploring a New Theoretical Model to Explain the Behavior of Medication Adherence
Pharmacy 2022, 10(2), 43; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pharmacy10020043 - 01 Apr 2022
Viewed by 1054
Abstract
Medication adherence is essential for optimal therapeutic outcomes. However, non-adherence with long-term therapy is at 50%. Several theoretical models have identified several key factors that could explain medication adherence. Though numerous interventions have been developed based on these theoretical models, the success rates [...] Read more.
Medication adherence is essential for optimal therapeutic outcomes. However, non-adherence with long-term therapy is at 50%. Several theoretical models have identified several key factors that could explain medication adherence. Though numerous interventions have been developed based on these theoretical models, the success rates with interventions are not the best. This paper proposes a new Hierarchical Model for Medication Adherence. In this model, we propose medication adherence as a five-tier model with medication adherence as the desirable behavior on the top of the pyramid. From the bottom of the hierarchy upwards, the skills/beliefs/behaviors to be achieved are: health literacy, belief in illness (impacted by perceived susceptibility and severity of illness), belief in medicines (impacted by treatment satisfaction), and self-efficacy (impacted by social support). The model further proposes that each individual will achieve or already have these skills/beliefs/behaviors at various levels. Screening patients for these benchmarks will enable providers to decide where to target interventions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medicine Use in Chronic Disease)
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Review
Online Pharmacies Selling Prescription Drugs: Systematic Review
Pharmacy 2022, 10(2), 42; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pharmacy10020042 - 01 Apr 2022
Viewed by 1347
Abstract
Introduction: The patronage of online pharmacies is rapidly growing, driven by the convenience and cheaper costs of purchasing prescription drugs electronically, especially under the lockdown situation. However, there are issues regarding the quality of the prescription drugs sold online and the legitimacy [...] Read more.
Introduction: The patronage of online pharmacies is rapidly growing, driven by the convenience and cheaper costs of purchasing prescription drugs electronically, especially under the lockdown situation. However, there are issues regarding the quality of the prescription drugs sold online and the legitimacy of online pharmacies. The use of prescription drugs without the supervision of a licensed health care practitioner may potentially harm consumers. Objectives: This systematic review was conducted to improve the body of knowledge on three main aspects of online pharmacies: (1) type and characteristics of the online pharmacies selling drugs; (2) the quality of pharmaceutical drugs purchased online; and (3) the characteristics of consumers of online pharmacies. Methods: Based on a pre-defined search strategy, PubMed and Scopus were utilised to search articles written in the English language published between January 2009 and February 2020. Studies focusing on the sale of prescription drugs were included. The terms used for the literature search were “online pharmacy”, “internet pharmacy”, “e-pharmacy”, “prescription”, “quality”, “medication safety”, and “counterfeit medicine”. These terms were used alone and in combination with Boolean operators. The institutional webpages including the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) were also examined for any additional studies. No methodological limitations in terms of study design were applied. A standardised data collection form was used to compile the data. Results: Based on the inclusion and exclusion criteria, a total of 46 articles were eligible and included in the final analysis. There were 27 articles on types and characteristic of online pharmacies, 13 articles on the quality of prescription drugs sold from online pharmacies, and 11 articles on consumers purchasing prescription drugs from online pharmacies. Readers should note that five articles discussed both the types and characteristics of online pharmacies, and the quality of the drugs sold from the outlets. The response rate (products received out of the number of orders) ranged from 20% to 100%, whereas the proportion of consumers buying prescription drugs online ranged from 2.3% to 13%. Reasons for online purchase of prescription drugs include the difficulty of obtaining a prescription for certain medications such as opioid analgesics, cheaper cost, since the costs associated with seeing a physician to obtain a prescription are reduced, and the need to obtain drugs such as opioid analgesics and benzodiazepine for misuse. Conclusions: Almost half of the online pharmacies are not properly regulated and fraudulent issues were uncovered. To address this issue, stricter regulation by World Health Organization and implementation should be carried out together with frequent monitoring of the licensure system and pharmacy verification on every online pharmacy, this would reduce the number of illegal or illegitimate online pharmacy. Full article
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Article
Virtualized Gamified Pharmacy Simulation during COVID-19
Pharmacy 2022, 10(2), 41; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pharmacy10020041 - 26 Mar 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1116
Abstract
Extended and immersive gamified pharmacy simulation has been demonstrated to provide transformative learning in pharmacy education, preparing graduates for real-world practice. An international consortium of universities has implemented local adaptations of the Pharmacy Game into their curricula. From early 2020, pharmacy academics modified [...] Read more.
Extended and immersive gamified pharmacy simulation has been demonstrated to provide transformative learning in pharmacy education, preparing graduates for real-world practice. An international consortium of universities has implemented local adaptations of the Pharmacy Game into their curricula. From early 2020, pharmacy academics modified the delivery of gamified simulation in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, while still aiming to deliver the important learning outcomes of enhanced communication, collaboration, confidence and competence. Australian universities went into full lockdown from March 2020, and the critical gamified simulation at Griffith University was delivered entirely virtually in 2020. An array of synchronous and asynchronous approaches and software platforms was employed, including Microsoft Teams, Forms and Stream plus the online interview platform Big Interview. These allowed for the simulation activities, including dispensing, counselling and clinical cases, to be conducted by students online. In 2021, Griffith University conducted hybrid delivery of its Pharmacy Game, balancing student participation both in person and online. Microsoft Power Apps was added to the hosting platform to enhance the simulation interface, and Power Virtual Agent artificial intelligence chatbots, with natural language processing, were used to enable asynchronous clinical interaction. The combination of learning technologies provided the means to deliver successful gamified simulation in the virtual and hybrid environments while still achieving outstanding learning outcomes from the capstone activity. This paper details the technologies used to virtualize the Australian Pharmacy Game and the analytics available to educators to assess student participation, engagement and performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Insights into Pharmacy Teaching and Learning during COVID-19)
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Article
Introducing Audio Podcasts into a Practical Laboratory Course for Pharmacy Students as a Novel Tool for Performance Assessment
Pharmacy 2022, 10(2), 40; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pharmacy10020040 - 17 Mar 2022
Viewed by 1156
Abstract
The use of digital tools can positively impact higher education for both scholars and faculty. In recent years, it has become apparent that podcasts are a suitable medium for use in teaching. They are provided almost exclusively by lecturers for students, with students [...] Read more.
The use of digital tools can positively impact higher education for both scholars and faculty. In recent years, it has become apparent that podcasts are a suitable medium for use in teaching. They are provided almost exclusively by lecturers for students, with students passively listening to them rather than actively participating in their production. However, this could also be valuable for students. Therefore, this pilot study investigated the extent to which the creation of a podcast would be accepted by students as a method for capturing pharmacy students’ understanding of the learning content. The evaluation was performed as part of the “Clinical Chemistry” practical course, which was attended by third-year pharmacy students in groups of three. After passing the station dealing with practical clinical chemistry relevant diagnostic systems, the groups were asked to produce an educational podcast covering the essential content on the topics of urine test strips or pulse oximetry, respectively. Student attitudes toward the adoption of podcasts as a tool for performance assessment were determined with an anonymous and voluntary survey. The respondents reported that they had fun creating the podcast, which enabled them to look at the instructional content from a different perspective. Competencies such as social and communication skills and media literacy as well as self-organized and self-directed learning were also promoted. However, the students assumed that the tool is not ideally suited for dealing with extensive topics. Nonetheless, the students clearly support the continued creation of podcasts as a performance assessment tool. In addition, they suggest integrating podcasts into other courses within the pharmacy curriculum. This may also be related to the infrequent use of novel technologies, such as podcasts, in their education thus far. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Technology-Enhanced Pharmacy Teaching and Learning Strategies II)
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Project Report
Online and Blended Learning Courses for Healthcare Professionals and Policymakers on Patients’ Perspectives on Medicine: A Project Report
Pharmacy 2022, 10(2), 39; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pharmacy10020039 - 16 Mar 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1117
Abstract
In order for healthcare professionals to better engage with patients, they need to understand and integrate the perspectives of patients into their daily work. In this project, we developed two courses for healthcare professionals on patients’ perspectives on medicine. One course was an [...] Read more.
In order for healthcare professionals to better engage with patients, they need to understand and integrate the perspectives of patients into their daily work. In this project, we developed two courses for healthcare professionals on patients’ perspectives on medicine. One course was an online course that introduced the patients’ perspectives on medicine and explained its importance for healthcare and health policy. The second course was a blended learning course, consisting of online modules and face-to-face webinars, which specified how to explore patients’ perspectives in qualitative interviews, and how to develop implementation plans. Patients participated in the development, execution, and evaluation of both courses. Overall, more than 2000 healthcare professionals enrolled in the first course and, in just over a year, 191 participants completed the online course; 57 healthcare professionals registered in the second blended learning course and six participants completed both components of the course. The relevance of knowledge gained was positively evaluated. Participants especially appreciated the participation of patients. Based on the feedback, the second blended learning course was adapted to run online and both courses continue to be freely available to all interested healthcare professionals on the Coursera platform. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue E-learning in Pharmacy Education)
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Article
Evaluation of Current Community Pharmacist Practice in Saudi Arabia—A Cross-Sectional Study from Pharmacists’ Perspective (Part II)
Pharmacy 2022, 10(2), 38; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pharmacy10020038 - 10 Mar 2022
Viewed by 1146
Abstract
This study aimed to evaluate the current practice of community pharmacists from patients’ and pharmacists’ perspectives in Saudi Arabia. This paper presents the pharmacist’s perspective. A cross-sectional self-administered online survey was designed to collect responses from community pharmacists in Saudi Arabia from February [...] Read more.
This study aimed to evaluate the current practice of community pharmacists from patients’ and pharmacists’ perspectives in Saudi Arabia. This paper presents the pharmacist’s perspective. A cross-sectional self-administered online survey was designed to collect responses from community pharmacists in Saudi Arabia from February to April 2021. The questionnaire consisted of several statements related to best practice in community pharmacy. Pharmacists’ responses to each statement were scored using a 5-point Likert scale. Higher scores represented a greater extent to which they adhered to best practice in the community pharmacy setting and vice versa. Data of 164 participants were included in the analysis. The minimum median score was related to the statement: Pharmacist explains the main side effects. The maximum median score was related to the statement: Pharmacist explains dosage regimen. Pharmacists aged 30 years or above and non-Saudi pharmacists had significantly higher median scores compared with pharmacists less than 30 years of age (p = 0.016) and Saudi pharmacists, respectively (p = 0.001). A gap between best practice and current practice of community pharmacists was observed. Policymakers can utilize these findings to provide targeted professional development opportunities for the practicing community pharmacists in order to improve the overall service and care for patients. Full article
Article
Engaging Patient Advisory Boards of African American Community Members with Type 2 Diabetes in Implementing and Refining a Peer-Led Medication Adherence Intervention
Pharmacy 2022, 10(2), 37; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pharmacy10020037 - 10 Mar 2022
Viewed by 1134
Abstract
African Americans are more likely than non-Hispanic whites to be diagnosed with and die from diabetes. A contributing factor to these health disparities is African Americans’ poor diabetes medication adherence that is due in part to sociocultural barriers (e.g., medicine and illness misperceptions), [...] Read more.
African Americans are more likely than non-Hispanic whites to be diagnosed with and die from diabetes. A contributing factor to these health disparities is African Americans’ poor diabetes medication adherence that is due in part to sociocultural barriers (e.g., medicine and illness misperceptions), which negatively affect diabetes management. In our prior work, we engaged with community stakeholders to develop and test a brief version of a culturally adapted intervention to address these barriers to medication adherence. The objective of this study was to elicit feedback to inform the refinement of the full 8-week intervention. We utilized a community-engaged study design to conduct a series of meetings with two cohorts of patient advisory boards of African Americans with type 2 diabetes who were adherent to their diabetes medicines (i.e., peer ambassadors). In total, 15 peer ambassadors were paired with 21 African American participants (i.e., peer buddies) to provide specific intervention support as peers and serve in an advisory role as a board member. Data were collected during nine board meetings with the patient stakeholders. A qualitative thematic analysis of the data was conducted to synthesize the findings. Feedback from the patient advisory board contributed to refining the intervention in the immediate-term, short-term, and long-term. The inclusion of African American community members living with type 2 diabetes on the advisory board contributed to further tailoring the intervention to the specific needs of African Americans with type 2 diabetes in the community. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medicine Use in Chronic Disease)
Article
The Geriatric Virtual Escape Room in Pharmacy Education: Female Students Escape Significantly Faster than Male Students
Pharmacy 2022, 10(2), 36; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pharmacy10020036 - 08 Mar 2022
Viewed by 1170
Abstract
Due to COVID-19 and the limitation of face-face teaching, electronic adaptation for formative and continuous assessment methods were greatly used and documented between 2020 and 2021. This study aims to implement a virtual escape room that will help assist and refine problem-solving skills [...] Read more.
Due to COVID-19 and the limitation of face-face teaching, electronic adaptation for formative and continuous assessment methods were greatly used and documented between 2020 and 2021. This study aims to implement a virtual escape room that will help assist and refine problem-solving skills in fifth-year pharmacy students by reviewing Beer’s criteria and selecting the most appropriate management. A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted following the implementation of the virtual escape room using google form. Students had to unlock five puzzles using Beer’s criteria. To evaluate pharmacy students’ perception of this method, they completed a survey to identify their views of the game. Of the 128 students enrolled in the geriatric course, all were able to escape (100%). A one-sample t-test indicated statistical significance between gender. Female students escaped statistically faster than male students (p < 0.00002) and were more likely to recommend the game to other students and thought the game encouraged them to think of the material in a new way, whereas male students were more neutral towards it. In conclusion, the geriatric virtual escape room was successfully implemented as a pilot innovative method to assist in virtual learning. However, future studies should investigate virtual gamification in pharmacy education and its impact on learning, as well as identify if there were any gender-specific differences in using these tools. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Insights into Pharmacy Teaching and Learning during COVID-19)
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Article
Community Pharmacy Services in Malanje City, Angola: A Survey of Practices, Facilities, Equipment, and Staff
Pharmacy 2022, 10(2), 35; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pharmacy10020035 - 22 Feb 2022
Viewed by 1545
Abstract
A community pharmacy, also known as a retail pharmacy, is the most common type of pharmacy that allows the public access to their medications and advice about their health. The conditions existing in the community pharmacy, as well as the qualification of the [...] Read more.
A community pharmacy, also known as a retail pharmacy, is the most common type of pharmacy that allows the public access to their medications and advice about their health. The conditions existing in the community pharmacy, as well as the qualification of the staff who work there, are fundamental for the compliance of good pharmacy practices. Objective: To assess the practices, facilities, equipment, and personnel of community pharmacies in the Municipality of Malanje. Methods: A cross-sectional observational study with a quantitative and qualitative approach. Through a simple random sampling technique, 20 pharmacies were selected from a universe of 73 reported by official authorities. Results: no pharmacist was acting in the local pharmacies, and their activity was supported by other professionals, particularly intermediate nursing technicians (57%). Most pharmacies were in the peri-urban area, and their functional areas, equipment, and utilities were not in accordance with Angolan law. In addition, the distribution of some drugs that are not over-the-counter was observed. Conclusion: community pharmacies in Malanje develop their activity in disregard of the law, constituting a considerable weakness that affects the observance of pharmacy service standards. Full article
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