Use of a reference text by pharmacists, intern pharmacists and pharmacy students: a national cross-sectional survey

Deanna Mill, Jacinta L Johnson, Lauren Corre, Kenneth Lee, Danielle D'Lima, Rhonda Clifford, Liza Seubert, Sandra M Salter, Amy Theresa Page

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Reference texts assist pharmacists by addressing knowledge gaps and enabling evidence-based decisions when providing patient care. It is unknown whether reference text utilisation patterns differ between pharmacists, intern pharmacists and pharmacy students. To describe and compare the self-reported use and perceptions of a reference text, namely the national formulary, by pharmacists, intern pharmacists and pharmacy students.

METHODS: Registered pharmacists, intern pharmacists and pharmacy students living in Australia were surveyed in July 2020. The survey was electronic and self-administered. Questions considered self-reported use of a specific reference text in the preceding 12 months.

KEY FINDINGS: There were 554 eligible responses out of 774 who commenced the survey: 430 (78%) pharmacists, 45 (8%) intern pharmacists and 79 (14%) pharmacy students. Most participants (529/554, 96%) reported historical use of the text, though pharmacists were significantly less likely than intern pharmacists and students to use it frequently (52/422, 12% versus 16/43, 37% versus 23/76, 30%, P < 0.001). Pharmacists (44%, 177/404) reported using the text as a tool to resolve a situation when providing a service or patient care (177/404, 44%) or as a teaching resource (150/404, 38%). In contrast, intern pharmacists and students most commonly use these to familiarise themselves with the contents (30/43, 70%; 46/76, 61%) or update their knowledge (34/43, 79%; 53/76, 70%).

CONCLUSIONS: Access and use patterns varied significantly across career stages. A broader understanding of the use of reference texts may help develop interventions to optimise the content and usability. Varying usage patterns across the groups may inform the tailoring of texts for future use.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)548-557
Number of pages10
JournalThe International Journal of Pharmacy Practice
Volume31
Issue number5
Early online date15 Jul 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2023

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