Global health learning outcomes in pharmacy students completing international advanced pharmacy practice experiences

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American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education


Objective. To examine the global health learning outcomes of Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) students from three US schools who participated in international advanced pharmacy practice experiences (APPEs). Methods. A mixed-methods, prospective study was used to assess fourth-year PharmD students at three US pharmacy schools who participated in an international APPE during the 2017-2018 academic year and a matched cohort (control group) of PharmD students who did not participate in an international APPE. To evaluate students’ self-perceived growth in the Consortium of Universities for Global Health (CUGH) competencies, all students completed a 13-item retrospective pre-post instrument using a five-point Likert scale. The students who had completed an international APPE were invited to participate in a focus group (N522). Paired and independent t tests and multiple linear regression were used to analyze data. Qualitative open-ended questions and focus group data were mapped to knowledge, skills, and attitudes themes. Results. The students who completed an international APPE (N581) showed significantly more growth in CUGH competencies than students who did not (mean improvement in total score of 10.3 [7.0] vs 2.4 [6.0]). International APPE participation was the only significant predictor of growth in CUGH competencies. The international APPE students reported improvements in cultural awareness and appreciation, communication skills, problem-solving skills, adaptability, self-awareness, personal and professional outlook, and global health perspective. Conclusion. Pharmacy students’ participation in international APPEs led to significant improvement in all CUGH competencies. The CUGH competency framework appears to be a suitable instrument to assess pharmacy students’ global health learning outcomes.

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