A Multi-professional Taught Course in Primary Care Therapeutics: Description and Evaluation

Christopher J Derrett, Martin R Underwood


Aim: To describe and present an evaluation of a taught certificate course in therapeutics for primary care professionals.

Design: A questionnaire study of the course participants analysed qualitatively and quantitatively. Subjects and setting: Students attending four primary care therapeutics courses held in east London and North Essex. Outcome measures: Participation and pass rates, participants comments and measures of course effectiveness in fulfilling participants aims.

Results: 44 pharmacists, 48 GPs, and eight nurses attended the courses. They attended 91% of the sessions, 83% of assignments were submitted and 83% of students were awarded a certificate in primary care therapeutics. The course appears to be effective in satisfying most of the participants’ aims particularly “general  interest” and promoting professional and inter-professional development; it was less successful in fulfilling specific objectives such as the development of formularies,  becoming a trainer, participating in prescribing reviews and in reducing drug costs.

Conclusions: Community pharmacists, general practitioners and senior primary care nurses have much to gain from being educated together in an activelearning environment. This programme meets the demand for courses of intermediate length  and difficulty within primary health care. There is the possibility that such courses will enhance inter-disciplinary working and encourage rational prescribing.


multi-professional, primary care

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