Immunization training for pharmacy students: a student-centered evaluation
Background: Persistent and emerging public health challenges mean Pharmacy students require training in immunization services. Curtin University, Australia, integrated blended-delivery immunization training into the final-year Bachelor of Pharmacy (Hons) and graduate-entry Master of Pharmacy curricula in 2019 and 2020, utilizing materials licenced from the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia.
Objective: This study evaluated changes in students’ attitude, confidence, self-perceived knowledge and self-perceived skills pre- and post-training delivered in 2020.
Methods: Pre- and post-training questionnaires featured 42 opinion statements grouped under headings ‘Attitudes’, ‘Confidence’, ‘Self-Perceived Knowledge’ and ‘Self-Perceived Skills’, and answered using five-point Likert scales (1 = strongly disagree to 5 = strongly agree). Completed pre- and post-training questionnaires were matched using respondent-generated codes. Data were subjected to descriptive and multivariate regression analysis to test pre-post changes and associations and changes in mean scores.
Results: 128 (95.5%) and 132 (98.5%) students completed the pre- and post-training questionnaires, respectively. Immunization training resulted in significant (p<0.05) improvement in students’ mean Confidence score (3.33 vs 3.96), Self-Perceived Knowledge score (3.08 vs 4.47) and Self-Perceived Skills score (2.81 vs 4.55). Improvement in students’ mean Attitude score was also statistically significant (4.45 vs 4.61), yet more positively skewed pre-training. No significant pre-post differences were found between the Bachelor and Master students. Post-training, all respondents agreed that the training program increased their attitude, confidence, perceived knowledge and perceived skills, rating the training experience as either Excellent (91.6%) or Good (8.4%).
Conclusions: Immunization training integrated into final-year BPharm (Hons) and MPharm curricula improved Attitudes, Confidence, Self-Perceived Knowledge and Self-Perceived Skills, all key to further role development in public health. This method is recommended to other Pharmacy schools to determine the impact and acceptability of immunization training programs amongst students.
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