Pharmacy students’ inter-professional perceptions towards the pharmacy profession in Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia and Malaysia
Keywords:Inter-professional Perceptions, Collaboration, Inter-professional Relations, Interdisciplinary Communication, Cross-Disciplinary Communications
Objectives: Inter-professional education that simulates real clinical practice serves as a catalyst that allows pharmacy students to learn both soft skills and new knowledge that could facilitate their transition into becoming a pharmacist. This study aimed to investigate the inter-professional perception of pharmacy students from Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia and Malaysia towards the pharmacy profession.
Methods: A 26-item questionnaire, adapted and modified from The Interdisciplinary Education Perception Scale (IEPS) was used in this multi-centre cross-sectional survey.
Results: There was a total of 909 respondents across the three countries. There were 494 students (54.3%) from Bangladesh, 275 students (30.3%) from Malaysia and 140 students (15.4%) from Saudi Arabia. Overall, male respondents were found to have higher scores than female students in all the factor-based classification of students’ inter-professional skills. Third year students had better perceptions about Factor 1: professional competence and autonomy (29.52 ± 3.06), followed by first year, fourth year, second year and then fifth year students. In terms of perceived need for professional cooperation (Factor 2), significant differences were noted based on gender (p=0.008) and academic level (year) of students (p≤0.001). Similarly, in relation to the perception of actual cooperation/resource sharing within and across profession (Factor 3), significant differences were noted both in gender (p=0.019) and academic year levels (p=0.003). At the same time, training in hospital or community pharmacy within the last six months.
Conclusions: Pharmacy students from Bangladesh, Malaysia and Saudi Arabia have almost similar interprofessional knowledge. The motivation for entering the pharmacy profession and practice exposure were found to significantly affect pharmacy students’ interprofessional perceptions.
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