Attitudes of pharmacy students and community pharmacists to numeracy


  • Johanne G. Barry School of Pharmacy, Medical Biology Centre, Queen’s University Belfast, 97 Lisburn Road, Belfast BT9 7BL, UK
  • Jennifer A. Colville School of Pharmacy, Medical Biology Centre, Queen’s University Belfast, 97 Lisburn Road, Belfast BT9 7BL, UK
  • Ryan F. Donnelly School of Pharmacy, Medical Biology Centre, Queen’s University Belfast, 97 Lisburn Road, Belfast BT9 7BL, UK


Pharmacy, numeracy, mathematics, pharmacy student, community pharmacist, survey


There are many instances in which community pharmacists employ their numeracy skills as part of their professional practice. It is vital that pharmacists are able to routinely perform calculations accurately, so as not to compromise patient safety or damage the reputation of the profession. It has been reported that university admissions tutors and lecturers believe that the students they are taking in are increasingly less capable with respect to their mathematical abilities. The numeracy standards of pharmacy students have been called into question recently and the pharmaceutical societies have introduced a compulsory calculations section onto their registration examinations. In this study, the attitudes of pharmacy students and community pharmacists to numeracy were investigated. It was found that, although students may lack confidence when it comes to performing pharmaceutical calculations and their qualified peers may doubt their abilities, they consistently perform well in the calculations section of the registration examination.


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Research Article