Assessment of Pharmacy Students Attitude towards Patient Communication in Iraq


Abstract:Background: In the last academic year, pharmacy students in Iraq are challenged to orient to various clinical practice experience where students to be moving from theoretical to practical and competence level of educational outcome.Objective: To assess the attitude of pharmacy students in AL-Mustansiriya University towards patient care issue and their abilities to communicate with patients and health care providers.Subjects and Methods: Pharmacy students in the undergraduate program (pre-experiential 4th & post-experiential 5th) years at Al –Mustansiriya University were participated in this study to complete a self –administered survey instrument. A twenty four closed ended question were used to assess patient care in critical conditions, some of these questions were developed or removed from the original instrument to be more applicable with the objective of the study. Three criteria was assessed : Addressing patient care issue in undergraduate curriculum ,Confidence in patient consultation and communication ,and Professional communication with health care team .Data collection took place in June 2011 at the end of their academic year for both study levels.Results: A total of 103 pharmacy students were enrolled in this study. Results show strong agreement from both study groups to discuss simple and emergency patient issue in school curriculum ( 96.9% & 92.3%)( 95.3% & 92.3%) respectively with no statistical difference between the groups, although more interest towards medication processing compared to patient centeredness. Students in Pre–and post-experiential group agree about some defect in their learning background about patient care issue (43.8%, 38.5%) which is a critical component of pharmacy practice. Higher response among post-experiential group compared to pre- experiential one (P< 0.05) reflecting confidence in patient consultation situation, but no actual participation at the critical conditions among both groups. Interestingly, students opinion from both sexes towards team work approach was strong enough among pre-and post-experiential groups (93.8%, 92.2%, 100%), (100%, 87.2%, 100%) respectively, showing pharmacist need to share responsibility in patient care issue. Higher response scores were among females in post-experiential group, while male students show equal response to females in pre-experiential settings. Post- experiential female students responses show nearly significant response to deal with patient issue in pharmacy profession (82.1%, P=0,076), and highly significant agreement to gain solid information about patient care (85.7%, P= 0.01), compared to their learning background. Males post-experientially show significant high response towards emotionally being presenting in the critical care units with patients (72.7%, P= 0.05). Still direct communication with patient seems to show overall low response from both sexes post-experientially.Conclusion: It is time for colleges of pharmacy in Iraq to implement contemporary teaching and assessment strategies that facilitate effective and efficient student learning that is focused at the graduate professional level, to organize the content of the curriculum accordingly, and articulate the abilities of graduates to function effectively in the profession which they may find themselves.Keywords: Pharmacy Curricula, Communication skills, Inter-professional Education.