Factors influencing pharmacy students' attendance decisions in large lectures

Am J Pharm Educ. 2009 Aug 28;73(5):83. doi: 10.5688/aj730583.


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.

MeSH terms

  • Absenteeism*
  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Choice Behavior*
  • Curriculum
  • Education, Pharmacy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internet
  • Male
  • Perception
  • Students, Pharmacy / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult