Objectives: To identify reasons for pharmacy student attendance and absenteeism in large lectures and to determine whether certain student characteristics affect student absenteeism.
Methods: Pharmacy students' reasons to attend and not attend 3 large lecture courses were identified. Using a Web-based survey instrument, second-year pharmacy students were asked to rate to what degree various reasons affected their decision to attend or not attend classes for 3 courses. Bivariate analyses were used to assess the relationships between student characteristics and degree of absenteeism.
Results: Ninety-eight students (75%) completed the survey instrument. The degree of student absenteeism differed among the 3 courses. Most student demographic characteristics examined were not related to the degree of absenteeism. Different reasons to attend and not to attend class were identified for each of the 3 courses, suggesting that attendance decisions were complex.
Conclusions: Respondents wanted to take their own notes and the instructor highlighted what was important to know were the top 2 common reasons for pharmacy students to attend classes. Better understanding of factors influencing student absenteeism may help pharmacy educators design effective interventions to facilitate student attendance.
Keywords: absenteeism; attendance; professionalism.