Attitudes of Lebanese pharmacists towards online and live continuing education sessions
Background: Continuing education (CE) is an internationally recommended approach as a lifelong learning model for pharmacists, enabling them to maintain the necessary knowledge, skills and ethical attitudes so as to remain current and competent in their practice.
Objectives: The objective of this study is to 1) describe factors associated with taking different types of CE courses among pharmacists in Lebanon, and 2) assess the correlation between types of CE activity and the attitude of Lebanese pharmacists (motivation and value) and their computer literacy.
Methods: This is a cross-sectional observational study conducted between February and May 2017, using a random sample of Lebanese pharmacists from all districts of Lebanon. All pharmacists were eligible to participate; the sample consisted of those who agreed to complete the questionnaire. The questionnaire includes questions about computer literacy, motivation and value about CE, in addition to sociodemographic characteristics of pharmacists.
Results: Out of the 750 questionnaires distributed, 628 (83.73%) were filled out and returned to be analyzed. The mean age of the participants was 39.04 (SD 10.57) years, 66.9% of them were females, and 41.1% of them had a bachelor degree in pharmacy and worked in Mount Lebanon. Among the 628 respondents, 567 (90.3%) have earned at least one CE credit. Of those, 5.4% took mainly online courses, 15.4% took mainly live courses and the remaining took both types of CE. Higher motivation (aOR=1.05; CI 0.994-1.109) and higher value (aOR=1.076; CI 0.968-1.197) were associated with higher odds of taking live CE courses. Higher motivation (aOR=1.07; 95%CI 0.994-1.152) was associated with higher odds of taking online CE courses. Higher motivation (aOR=1.059; 95%CI 1.006-1.114) and higher general confidence with computer use (aOR=1.058; 95%CI 1.012-1.106) were significantly associated with higher odds of taking both types of CE courses.
Conclusions: A high percentage of Lebanese pharmacists enrolled in the CE system, mainly driven by motivation and value of CE, in addition to a higher general confidence in computer use. Further efforts should be exerted by the Lebanese Order of Pharmacists to motivate pharmacists and help them improve their computer literacy, which is expected to improve not only enrollment in CE activities, but also the completion of their CE requirements.
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