Pharmacy students’ and pharmacists’ perceptions about geriatric pharmacotherapy education

Mohd Shahezwan Abd Wahab, Noordin Othman, Stefan R Kowalski, Hanis Hanum Zulkifly, Aida Azlina Ali, Long Chiau Ming, Abu Bakar Abdul Majeed


Background: An adequate background knowledge base in geriatric pharmacotherapy (GPT) must be attained by pharmacists in order for them to provide optimal care to the elderly.

Objectives: To investigate the perceptions of pharmacy students about the need for competency in GPT, pharmacists’ level of self-perceived confidence in providing GPT, and their opinions about GPT training and education.

Methods: In this cross-sectional study, a questionnaire was distributed to pharmacy students from a public university and pharmacists from four public hospitals in Selangor, Malaysia between May and August 2013.

Results: The response rates were 85.8% (151/176) and 58.9% (128/217) for the pharmacy students and pharmacists respectively. Pharmacy students agreed with the need for GPT competency (mean agreement: 4.64 ± 0.61), but pharmacists’ self-perceived confidence in GPT was moderate (mean agreement: 3.26 ± 0.71). The respondents’ agreement about the adequacy of GPT education received during their undergraduate studies was also modest (pharmacy students, 3.22 ± 0.86; pharmacists, 2.84 ± 0.82; p<0.01). In addition, the respondents welcomed more education in GPT; considered knowledge in common GPT-related topics as important; preferred software to obtain GPT information; and perceived clinical attachment with geriatricians as useful to enhance their GPT knowledge.

Conclusion: Our findings provide a basis to make more GPT education available to both pharmacy students and pharmacists. 


Education, Geriatric pharmacotherapy, Malaysia, Pharmacy students, Pharmacists

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