Pharmaceutical calculations instruction and assessment in US colleges and schools of pharmacy

Am J Pharm Educ. 2007 Oct 15;71(5):87. doi: 10.5688/aj710587.


Objective: To characterize the current strategies used in the instruction and assessment of pharmaceutical calculations content through the administration of a nationwide survey.

Methods: Instructors of pharmaceutical calculations were invited to complete a 34-item questionnaire designed to gather information on course logistics, content delivery, covered topics, homework, examinations, and retention measures.

Results: Seventy-two colleges and schools responded to the survey. Exactly half of the respondents indicated that they had a standalone pharmaceutical calculations course, while the other half indicated this material was integrated into other coursework. An average of 24.8 hours was devoted to calculations topics. A minimum passing examination score of 70% was reported by 53% of programs. Knowledge retention was formally measured in 16% of programs, while 27% responded that they did not measure retention.

Conclusion: This survey provided the first assessment of the strategies used to teach and assess pharmaceutical calculations content. Further work is needed to determine the optimal teaching and assessment strategies for pharmaceutical calculations, as well as optimal methods of evaluating and promoting retention of this material.

Keywords: assessment; calculations; pharmaceutical calculations; survey.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Data Collection / methods
  • Drug Dosage Calculations*
  • Education, Pharmacy / standards*
  • Educational Measurement / standards*
  • Humans
  • Schools, Pharmacy / standards*
  • Teaching / standards
  • United States
  • Universities / standards*