Teaching Medication Adherence in US Colleges and Schools of Pharmacy

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Objective. To determine and describe the nature and extent of medication adherence education in US colleges and schools of pharmacy.

Methods. A mixed-methods research study was conducted that included a national survey of pharmacy faculty members, a national survey of pharmacy students, and phone interviews of 3 faculty members and 6 preceptors.

Results. The majority of faculty members and students agreed that background concepts in medication adherence are well covered in pharmacy curricula. Approximately 40% to 65% of the students sampled were not familiar with several adherence interventions. The 6 preceptors who were interviewed felt they were not well-informed on adherence interventions, unclear on what students knew about adherence, and challenged to provide adherence-related activities for students during practice experiences because of practice time constraints.

Conclusions. Intermediate and advanced concepts in medication adherence, such as conducting interventions, are not adequately covered in pharmacy curriculums; therefore stakeholders in pharmacy education must develop national standards and tools to ensure consistent and adequate medication adherence education.


This article was originally published in American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, volume 76, issue 5, in 2012. https://doi.org/10.5688/ajpe76579


American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy