“In the eye of the beholder”: pharmacy students have more positive perceptions of medicines than students of other disciplines

Horne, R., Frost, S., Hankins, M. and Wright, S. (2001) “In the eye of the beholder”: pharmacy students have more positive perceptions of medicines than students of other disciplines. International Journal of Pharmacy Practice, 9 (2). pp. 85-89. 10.1111/j.2042-7174.2001.tb01035.x.

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DOI: 10.1111/j.2042-7174.2001.tb01035.x


Objective — Exploratory study to examine whether pharmacy students differ significantly from students on other courses in their beliefs about medicines. Method — Questionnaire study assessing beliefs about medicines in general and perceptions of personal sensitivity to the potential adverse effects of medication. Setting — Undergraduate students sampled from each academic year of five degree courses. Five hundred and seventy completed questionnaires were analysed. Key findings — The findings indicated significant differences between students on the basis of their chosen course. Pharmacy students were significantly more likely than engineering, accountancy, social policy, and humanities students to believe that medicines in general are beneficial, and were significantly less likely to perceive medicines as potentially harmful. Humanities students were more likely than most other groups to believe that medicines are over-prescribed by doctors. The observed relationship between course and medication beliefs remained statistically significant when controlling for ethnic background, experience of taking prescribed medication, and year of study. A further analysis revealed no significant effect of year of course on medication beliefs, and no significant interaction between course and year of study. Conclusion — The findings suggest that students' attitudes were formed before they arrived at university, rather than being “shaped” by the course over a three-year period. The implications of these findings for patient-pharmacist communication are discussed.

Item Type:Article
Departments, units and centres:Department of Practice and Policy > Centre for Behavioural Medicine
ID Code:2200
Journal or Publication Title:International Journal of Pharmacy Practice
Deposited By:Library Staff
Deposited On:17 Jun 2011 12:04
Last Modified:17 Jun 2011 12:04

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