Community pharmacists' preferences for continuing education delivery in Australia

J Contin Educ Health Prof. Winter 2009;29(1):52-7. doi: 10.1002/chp.20006.


Introduction: New technologies such as the Internet offer an increasing number of options for the delivery of continuing education (CE) to community pharmacists. Many of these options are being utilized to overcome access- and cost-related problems. This paper identifies learning preferences of Australian community pharmacists for CE and identifies issues with the integration of these into contemporary models of CE delivery.

Methods: Four focus group teleconferences were conducted with practicing community pharmacists (n = 15) using a semistructured format and asking generally about their CE and continuing professional development (CPD) experiences.

Results: Pharmacists reported preferences for CE that were very closely aligned to the principles of adult learning. There was a strong preference for interactive and multidisciplinary CE. Engaging in CPD was seen as valuable in promoting reflective learning.

Discussion: These results suggest that pharmacists have a strong preference for CE that is based on adult learning principles. Professional organizations should take note of this and ensure that new CE formats do not compromise the ability of pharmacists to engage in interactive, multidisciplinary, and problem-based CE. Equally, the role of attendance-based CE in maintaining peer networks should not be overlooked.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Australia
  • Community Pharmacy Services*
  • Consumer Behavior*
  • Education, Pharmacy, Continuing*
  • Evidence-Based Practice
  • Focus Groups
  • Humans
  • Pharmacists / psychology*