The Relationship Between Pharmacy Student's Beliefs About Medications and Their Counseling Behaviors

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Poster Presentation

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Objectives: Objectives were to assess pharmacy student beliefs about medications and the relationship with grades in a pharmacy counseling course.

Method: Third year pharmacy students in a pharmacy counseling course were surveyed using the previously validated Beliefs about Medications Questionnaire-General (BMQ-G). The BMQ-G includes four subscales (overuse, harm, benefit, and sensitivity to medications) rated on a 5-point Likert scale (higher scores represent stronger feelings). Belief profiles were created using two-step cluster analysis to group students with similar beliefs. Students also reported demographics and prior work in a pharmacy setting. Grades from a ‘simulated’ patient counseling session were collected via school records. Student t-test and multivariate linear regression were used to compare beliefs with grades.

Results: Among 66 students (84.5% response rate), 54.5% were female, 80.3% white, and 77.3% non-Hispanic. Nearly all students (84.8%) reported working in a pharmacy setting. Overall mean(sd) scores on the beliefs scales were: overuse 3.12(.76), harm 1.83(.53), benefit 3.99(.55), sensitive soma 2.37(.82). Cluster analyses revealed two beliefs profiles: Negative Profile-more feelings of overuse, harm, and sensitivity to medications and less benefit, Positive Profile-less feelings of overuse, harm, and sensitivity to medications and greater benefit. Students with positive belief profiles had higher grades compared to students with negative belief profiles (90.0 vs. 87.2, p=.014). Findings remained in a multivariate linear regression controlling for gender and prior work in a pharmacy.

Implications: As counseling becomes primary to a pharmacist’s role, findings from this study demonstrate the need for greater understanding about the relationship between pharmacist’s beliefs about medications and patient counseling.




Presented at the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy Annual Meeting in Nashville, Tennessee, July 15-19, 2017.

Abstract is published in: American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education June 2017: Volume 81, Issue 5, Article S5: https://www.ajpe.org/content/81/5/S5

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