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An international survey of Health Literacy Education within schools of pharmacy

Glen J Swinburne, Gregory Duncan, Kevin P McNamara, Kay Stewart, Lynne Emmerton, Safeera Y Hussainy

Abstract

Background: Health literacy (HL) influences patients’ health status, use of the healthcare system and medication-related behaviours. However, the concept is relatively new to pharmacy and its incorporation in academic curricula has not been examined.   

Aims: To explore HL training in pharmacy schools internationally, and academics’ opinions in regards to how it should be taught and assessed.

Methods: An anonymous, online survey was administered to academics who teach within pharmacy degree courses from countries where English is the main language. 

Results: Responses were received from 21 pharmacy schools in seven countries; 20 stated that HL was taught within their pharmacy degree, in four as a stand-alone topic. Small-group tutorials were thought to be the most beneficial form of teaching health literacy, best assessed using oral and objective structured clinical examinations.

Conclusion: The majority of pharmacy schools taught health literacy and had similar opinions regarding best practice teaching and assessment.


Keywords

Communication, Curriculum, Education, Health Literacy, Pharmacy, Students


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