Continuing education programs for pharmacists: No one size fits all


  • Annelies Driesen Research Centre for Pharmaceutical Care and Pharmaco-economics, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Onderwijs en Navorsing 2, P. O. Box 521, Herestraat 49, 3000 Leuven, Belgium
  • Steven Simoens Research Centre for Pharmaceutical Care and Pharmaco-economics, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Onderwijs en Navorsing 2, P. O. Box 521, Herestraat 49, 3000 Leuven, Belgium
  • Gert Laekeman Research Centre for Pharmaceutical Care and Pharmaco-economics, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Onderwijs en Navorsing 2, P. O. Box 521, Herestraat 49, 3000 Leuven, Belgium


Community pharmacists, continuing education, formats, motivation, survey


This study aims to profile pharmacists based on their preferences for continuing education (CE) formats, and to investigate whether preferences for formats are associated with motivation to attend courses, preferences for topics and demographic traits. Data were gathered from a survey of 1032 Belgian community pharmacists. Cluster analysis generated three groups. Pharmacists not preferring lectures (cluster one; n = 133) were more likely to be older men, had the greatest interest in distance learning and were motivated by material incentives. Pharmacists interested in lectures as well as workshops (cluster two; n = 595) exhibited the highest intrinsic motivation to engage in CE. Pharmacists preferring lectures but not workshops (cluster three; n = 304) were more likely to be women and disliked active involvement in CE. This study shows that motivation to attend courses, preferences for topics, and demographic characteristics play a role in determining pharmacists’ preferences for CE program formats.


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Research Article