Optimising the impact of education for community pharmacy in Australia

McNamara, Kevin, Marriott, Jennifer, Duncan, Greg and Prideaux, David 2006, Optimising the impact of education for community pharmacy in Australia, in GP & PHC 2006 : Optimising Impact : 2006 General Practice and Primary Health Care Research Conference Abstracts, Primary Health Care Research and Information Service, [Perth, W.A.].


Title Optimising the impact of education for community pharmacy in Australia
Author(s) McNamara, Kevin
Marriott, Jennifer
Duncan, Greg
Prideaux, David
Conference name General Practice and Primary Health Care Research Conference (2006 : Perth, W.A.)
Conference location Perth, W.A.
Conference dates 5-7 Jul. 2006
Title of proceedings GP & PHC 2006 : Optimising Impact : 2006 General Practice and Primary Health Care Research Conference Abstracts
Publication date 2006
Publisher Primary Health Care Research and Information Service
Place of publication [Perth, W.A.]
Summary Aims & rationale/Objectives : This paper examines the extent to which different models of community pharmacist continuing education (CE) are evidence-based. It also describes the impact of varying education models on attendance and attitudes within the profession.

Methods : A literature review was conducted to establish principles that should be applied to health professional education, and pharmacy in particular. Interviews were conducted with representatives from four organisations involved in the education of pharmacists to understand their current models. Four focus groups were held with community pharmacists to understand their educational experiences and attitudes.

Principal findings : The purpose of CE is to improve the clinical performance of health practitioners. Literature examining outcomes from CE underlines the importance of adult learning principles. Focus groups supported the view that consideration of these principles is beneficial. These principles, including problem-based learning, clinical applicability, relevance, and active involvement in the learning process, are currently incorporated into educational models to varying extents. Access problems such as cost, distance, insufficient flexibility in delivery, and poor promotion of educational opportunities prevent many pharmacists from taking responsibility for their own learning. A lack of appropriate assessment by some registering authorities is counterproductive to achieving CE outcomes in clinical practice. Participants already engaged in continuing professional development (CPD) agreed with the principles of its introduction.

Discussion : Optimising outcomes from CE requires considerable input from numerous stakeholders. The recent introduction of mandatory pharmacist CPD across Australia should encourage an individual focus on learning outcomes. Focus group participants are likely to be education enthusiasts and may not represent the views of the entire profession.

Implications : This study identifies the need for a system-wide approach for achieving outcomes from CE. It is therefore advisable that a coordinated strategy be developed by all stakeholders for education delivery so as to optimise the impact of CE.
Language eng
Field of Research 111708 Health and Community Services
Socio Economic Objective 929999 Health not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category E3 Extract of paper
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30014759

Document type: Conference Paper
Collection: School of Health and Social Development
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