STUDENT PHARMACIST PERCEPTIONS OF A TRANSITION TO A VIRTUAL CURRICULUM AND MENTAL HEALTH IMPLICATION

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2021

Authors

Muilenburg, Katherine
Howell, Crystal
White, Annesha
Garcia, Luis

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0000-0003-0324-357X (Muilenburg, Katherine)

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Abstract

Purpose The primary aim of this study was to assess student pharmacist satisfaction with the emergent transition to a remote pharmacy curriculum in the setting of a national pandemic. Methods This was a descriptive, cross sectional study conducted in Fall 2020. An email invitation was sent to an academic leader at each of the pharmacy schools in the United States to have students participate in a survey based on virtual learning changes, potential barriers to success, future solutions, mental health implications, and including a validated stress survey. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyze data. Results A total of 488 students responded to the survey. Overall, the majority were from CDC regions 2, 5 and 6, female (78%), between the ages of 25 and 30 years (68%) and racially and ethnically diverse. The majority of students (68%) reported having to change their study habits and 68.5% reported their grades were affected by the transition. Feelings of isolation were reported by 62% and motivation to study decreased by 76.8%. There was a statistically significant decline in mental health for each question of the adapted Perceived Stress Scale. Conclusion As pharmacy educators and student pharmacists continue to evolve with the pandemic, the results of this study provide insight into barriers to success within a pharmacy curriculum and potential solutions post-pandemic. In addition, this study highlighted that mental health resources and advocacy will continue to be crucial to student pharmacist success.

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