RESEARCH ARTICLE: Assessment of drug information skills and resources utilisation among pharmacy students: A cross-sectional study




Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience (APPE), Currriculum development, Drug information, Evidence-based practice (EBP), Pharmacy student


Objective: To identify drug information (DI) resources commonly used by pharmacy students of King Faisal University, Saudi Arabia, and to assess their ability to determine the appropriate ones for different clinical situations.     

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in April 2014 (n=92). A paper-based questionnaire was developed, validated, and administered to fifth-year Pharm.D. students and advanced pharmacy practice experience (APPE) interns. It investigated the students’ DI sources preferences. Besides, it evaluated their competency in classifying DI resources and identifying the best resource to answer case-based multiple-choice questions. Moreover, the study aimed at assessing the impact of providing a case-based combined module of evidence-based practice (EBP) and DI for fifth-year students (new study plan) compared to delivering separate EBP and DI modules through theoretical lectures (old study plan–APPE interns).    

Results: The preferred resources to the students were online recourses (85.86%), soft copy books (26.08%), and mobile applications (25%). For the DI mobile applications, Medscape was the most common (63.4%), followed by Micromedex (53.5%), Lexicomp (42.3%), and Dynamed (16.9%). Fifth-year students’ scores were significantly higher than APPE interns for the case-based questions. Students’ GPAs were moderately correlated with their total scores.   

Conclusion: Study participants preferred using electronic DI resources to printed ones. The combined EBP-DI course could be a better option as it links the DI knowledge to clinical situations.

Author Biographies

Sarah Al Hussain, King Faisal University, Al-Ahsa, Saudi Arabia

Pharmacy Practice Department, College of Clinical Pharmacy

Ahmad Sarsour, King Faisal University, Saudi Arabia & Regency Hospital, Sylvania, Ohio, United States

Pharmacy Practice Department & College of Clinical Pharmacy

Mohammad Zaitoun, King Faisal University, Saudi Arabia & Armed Forces Hospitals Southern Region, Saudi Arabia

Pharmacy Practice Department & Pharmaceutical care administration


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Research Article