Academic journal article American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education

A Systematic Review of Extramural Presentations and Publications from Pharmacy Student Research Programs

Academic journal article American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education

A Systematic Review of Extramural Presentations and Publications from Pharmacy Student Research Programs

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

Evidence-based medicine, defined as the integration of research evidence with clinical expertise and patient values (1) is based on the premise that a body of research relevant to patient care is available and that practitioners can locate, interpret, and apply the research to clinical practice. For research to be applicable to pharmacy practice, practitioners and scientists need to conduct relevant research and disseminate the findings, which implies that practitioners and scientists have the skills to create and use research findings. The Task Force on Research in the Professional Curriculum of the American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP) identified eight key curricular competencies related to research skills for students inprofessional pharmacy programs. The competencies include identifying relevant problems, generating a hypothesis, designing a study, analyzing data using appropriate statistical tests, interpreting and applying the findings to practice, effectively communicating research and clinical findings to both professionals and patients, and applying regulatory and ethical principles to the conduct and use of research findings. (2) The American Society of Health-System

Pharmacists (ASHP) includes research skills in the objectives for a postgraduate year one (PGY1) residency. Residents need to design and execute a study and report the results in the context of pharmacy practice issues. (3) The need for students to learn skills in research and interpreting and using research is also recognized by pharmacy groups in other countries. The European expert committee on pharmaceutical education recommended in 1994 that all pharmacy curricula include a "significant" final year project. In 1996, the requirement for a student research project was made mandatory by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain. (4)

A key issue associated with research is whether or not the results are communicated to other pharmacy practitioners and health care professionals. Communication of research and clinical findings is specifically mentioned by ACCP and ASHP. The former specifically listed communication of research and clinical findings to pharmacists, other health care professionals, and basic scientists as one of the essential curricular competencies related to research content for doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) programs. (2) The latter lists effectively using communication skills to report the results and recommendations from an investigation as an instructional objective for PGY1 residency training. (3) Communication with individuals, groups, and organizations also is listed as a competency in the Center for the Advancement of Pharmacy Education (CAPE) outcomes for professional pharmacy education programs. (5) With respect to medical student research, Beirer observed that publication of student research in peer reviewed journals seemed to serve as the "gold standard" for success of student research programs. (6)

Studies on publication in pharmacy journals indicate that experience with research in professional programs is associated with subsequent publication and that student research projects can result in publications. In a study of factors associated with the publication of scholarly articles by pharmacists, Morris et al found that training in research methods and scientific writing as well as introduction to the publication process during training was associated with publication. (7) Forty-two percent of respondents indicated that the research reported was completed during residency training, and 73% reported that they wrote their first publication while enrolled in some type of training program. (7) Nykamp et al surveyed student authors of manuscripts published in pharmacy journals from 2004 through 2008. (8) Forty-one percent of the respondents indicated that the manuscript was associated with a project that was part of either a didactic or experiential training requirement. …

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