Academic journal article American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education

A Systematic Review of the Effects of Continuing Education Programs on Providing Clinical Community Pharmacy Services

Academic journal article American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education

A Systematic Review of the Effects of Continuing Education Programs on Providing Clinical Community Pharmacy Services

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

Community pharmacists are among the most accessible health professionals. They are in a unique position to help patients manage several health conditions. In recent decades, the role of community pharmacists has shifted from providing medications to providing clinical community pharmacy services (eg, drug therapy management, residential medication management review, and pharmacy-based minor ailment treatment regiments, among others). (1-3) This shift has created a need to develop and maintain expertise and competence in new areas, including pharmacotherapy, interpersonal communication, and patient information documentation. (4,5)

However, pharmacy curricula in several countries do not focus on clinical community pharmacy services. Only a few disciplines focus on developing communication skills and pharmacotherapy knowledge. (6-8) Studies report that community pharmacists in several countries have insufficient knowledge in these areas, (9-12) and community pharmacists commonly provide clinical community pharmacy services at an unsatisfactory level of quality. (13-15) Such a situation poses problems concerning appropriateness, effectiveness, safety, and adherence to patients' drug therapy regimens.

Continuing education (CE) programs can play a vital role in expanding basic pharmacy education and enhancing therapeutic management skills, particularly in areas for which insufficient training has been received or achieved during undergraduate studies. (16) Increasingly, more countries are implementing CE program for community pharmacists as obligatory lifelong learning programs in an attempt to improve clinical community pharmacy services. Nevertheless, much remains unclear about which media methods in CE programs provide the most effective educational approach to providing clinical community pharmacy services. "Media method" refers to the method by which the CE program activity is delivered. We adopted the definition of media methods proposed by the Johns Hopkins Evidence-based Practice Center (Table 1). (17) To our knowledge, no published systematic review evaluates the effects of various media methods in CE programs on providing clinical community pharmacy services.

Considering the importance of improving the quality of clinical community pharmacy services provided to patients, the primary aim of this study was to summarize scientific evidence of the effects of media methods in CE programs on providing clinical community pharmacy services. The secondary aim was to summarize methods used to evaluate the effectiveness of CE programs.

METHODS

A systematic review was performed according to recommendations of Preferred Reporting Items of Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA). (18) Because this was a systematic review of published data, no approval was needed from the university's institutional review board. Studies were included if they were original articles published in English, Portuguese, or Spanish from 1990 to 2013 that evaluated the effects of CE programs on providing clinical community pharmacy services. We searched Medline, Scopus, and Scientific Electronic Library Online (SciELO) databases. Additional articles were identified by searching the references of articles identified in these searches.

The search strategy for the databases is described in Appendices 1, 2, and 3. Search terms included: Continuing education (Title/Abstract); Continuing Professional development (Title/Abstract); Life-long learning (Title/Abstract); Professional development (Title/Abstract); Training (Title/ Abstract); Postgraduate education (Title/Abstract); Adult learning (Title/Abstract); Competence development (Title/Abstract); Competence (Title/Abstract); Training and education (Title/Abstract); Recurrent education (Title/Abstract); or Practical work training (Title/Abstract) Study selection.

Two independent reviewers scanned the titles of the articles in parallel. …

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