Article

Mental health curricula at schools of pharmacy in the United kingdom and recent graduates' readiness to practice.

University of Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton, England, UK.
American journal of pharmaceutical education (Impact Factor: 1.21). 09/2013; 77(7):147. DOI: 10.5688/ajpe777147
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Objective. To assess mental health education in the undergraduate pharmacy curricula in the United Kingdom and gauge how well prepared graduates are to manage mental health patients. Method. The authors conducted semi-structured telephone interviews with pharmacy educators and administered an electronic self-administered survey instrument to pharmacy graduates. Results. The mental health conditions of depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and Parkinson disease were taught, in detail, by all schools, but more specialized areas of mental health (eg, personality disorder, autism) were generally not taught. Just 5 of 19 schools attempted to teach the broader social aspects of mental health. A third of the schools provided experiential learning opportunities. Graduates and recently registered pharmacists stated that undergraduate education had prepared them adequately with regard to knowledge on conditions and treatment options, but that they were not as well prepared to talk with mental health patients and deal with practical drug management-related issues. Conclusion. The mental health portion of the undergraduate pharmacy curricula in colleges and schools of pharmacy in the United Kingdom is largely theoretical, and pharmacy students have little exposure to mental health patients. Graduates identified an inability to effectively communicate with these patients and manage common drug management-related issues.

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