Teaching pharmacotherapeutics to pharmacy students at a Nigerian university: Student perspectives
Background. Pharmacotherapeutics is an essential component of undergraduate pharmacy curricula worldwide. Therefore, improving the content and teaching of pharmacotherapeutic courses will better equip young pharmacists for their future careers.
Objectives. To assess the perception and views of fourth- and fifth-year pharmacy students at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria, on the content and structure, as well as methods of lecture delivery of a pharmacotherapeutics course.
Methods. This was a sequential mixed-methods study. During the first phase, a pretested questionnaire containing both open- and closed-ended questions was distributed to all 201 students who enrolled for the course during the 2015/2016 academic session. After analyses of questionnaire responses, two focus group discussions (FGDs) were held with 16 randomly selected students (8 participants per group).
Results. Over half of respondents (54%) had enrolled for the course more than once. Analyses of qualitative data from both questionnaires and FGDs yielded three themes: poor student awareness, relevance, and shortcomings in course structure and delivery. The most common complaints of students revolved around the bulkiness of the course and non-interactive teaching methods used by course lecturers. Their enjoyment of certain parts of the course was linked to a perceived relevance of some disease conditions over others.
Conclusion. There is a need to improve the course structure and teaching of pharmacotherapeutics at the institution, as well as student participation in their own learning.
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