A Comparison between Two Methods of Teaching Hospital Pharmacists about Adverse Drug Reactions: Problem-based Learning Versus a Didactic Lecture


  • Jennifer Ann Reeves University of Bradford
  • Sally-Anne Francis University of London, London


Problem-based learning, Continuing education, Adverse drug reactions


The aim of this study was to compare the effectiveness of two teaching methods, problem-based learning (PBL) and a didactic lecture, in the continuing education of pharmacists about adverse drug reactions (ADRS). Fifty pharmacists were recruited from four hospitals within the United Kingdom: 16 pharmacists (hospital 1) underwent PBL, 15 pharmacists (hospital 2) received a didactic lecture, and 19 pharmacists (hospital 3, and hospital 4) were the control group and did not receive an formal teaching intervention. Immediately prior to any teaching interventions, all participants completed an ADR test. All groups completed the same ADR test 6 months later. Records of ADR reporting rates by the participants were examined for defined periods pre- and post-teaching interventions. The PBL participants demonstrated a significant improvement in the mean rank scores for both the MCQ and the clinical cases analysis sectiosn of the test. Participants who received the didactic lecture significantly improved only in the MCQ section of the test. No significant differences in either section of the test were detected for the control participants. The PBL participants were the only group to significantly improve their mean rank ADR reposrting rate post-intervention. The result of this study indicate that PBL has benefits compared to a didactic lecture method in educating pharmacist about ADRs and enhancing their motivation to report adverse drug reactions.

Author Biographies

Jennifer Ann Reeves, University of Bradford

Teacher Practitioner, Pharamcy Practice, School of Pharmacy 

Sally-Anne Francis, University of London, London

Lecturer - Centre for Practice & Policy, School of Pharmacy





Research Article