KidzMed e-learning to upskill student pharmacists to teach pill swallowing to children

McCloskey, Alice P., Lunn, Andrew orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-2884-2755, Traynor, Michael J., Lim, Emma J., Tse, Yincent, McCabe, Philippa G., Mistry, Ravi D., Vasey, Nicola, Pickering, Ailsa et al (2023) KidzMed e-learning to upskill student pharmacists to teach pill swallowing to children. PLoS ONE, 18 (3).

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Background: Appropriate medication use is essential in ensuring optimal pharmacotherapeutic outcomes. It is mistakenly assumed that adults can swallow solid oral dosage forms (SODFs, e.g. tablets/capsules colloquially referred to as ‘pills’), without difficulty and that children cannot. KidzMed is a ‘pill swallowing’ training programme designed to teach effective SODF use in patients of all ages. It may be utilised by healthcare professionals to assist patients taking SODFs. E-learning was essential for training during COVID pandemic to reduce viral transmission. The aim of this study was to explore UK student pharmacists views of e-learning to support swallowing solid oral dosage forms. Methods: This study used pre- and post-intervention online surveys on Microsoft Forms to evaluate self-directed eLearning about pill swallowing on MPharm programmes at three UK Universities using a 13-item survey. A combination of five-point Likert Scales and free-text items were used. The eLearning was available via the virtual learning environment at the University and embedded within existing curriculum. Descriptive statistical analysis was used to explore responses. Results: In total, 113 of 340 (33%) students completed the survey. Seventy-eight percent (n = 65) reported the eLearning would enable them to teach adults and children to swallow SODFs successfully. Learners either agreed or strongly agreed that they felt comfortable to teach patients (95%, n = 62/113) and parents or carers (94%, n = 60) to swallow medications having completed the e-learning. Student pharmacists generally found eLearning as an acceptable way to reflect on their own experiences of ‘pill’ swallowing and how to support patients to swallow SODFs. Conclusion: The KidzMed eLearning was well received by student pharmacists. Further work is needed to explore whether skills translates into real life application in the clinical settings.

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