Clinical Application of a Basic Science Principle: From Starling Forces to Nephrotic Syndrome

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Conference Proceeding

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Objectives: Students often remark that basic science concepts are not clinically relevant. The primary objective of this study was to deliver an exercise related to the clinical application of hydrostatic and oncotic pressures (starling forces). Perceived benefit of the exercise and exam performance were assessed.

Method: A clinical case of nephrotic syndrome was utilized to reinforce principles of Starling forces with P2 students in a Pharmacology course. Prior to delivery of the case study in class, students completed a 5 question pre-assessment based on reading materials. Once in class, students worked in small groups to answer a series of case-based questions. A member of the pharmacy practice department came to the Pharmacology class and reviewed the concepts which had been introduced and offered his clinical experience with the patient.

Results: 100% of students strongly agreed or agreed with the questions: I found the case useful in my understanding of pressures and that it was beneficial to have concepts reinforced by the patient case. Survey questions used a Likert Scale (4 = SA; 1 = SD) with students reporting the benefit of having faculty from both departments working together (3.84/4.0; n = 51) and that they would like more exercises like this (3.80/4.0; n=51). Student exams scores on virtually identical essays related to nephrotic syndrome increased in 2014 (83%; n=81) compared to 2013 (69%; n=79).

Implications: Students perceive a benefit of having science and practice faculty working together to address concepts. Exam scores demonstrate that the clinical application reinforces student learning.




Presented at the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) annual meeting in National Harbor, Maryland, July 11-15, 2015.

Abstract published in American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, 2015; 79 (5) Article S4: https://www.ajpe.org/content/79/5/S4

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