Students' health-related quality of life across the preclinical pharmacy curriculum

Am J Pharm Educ. 2009 Dec 17;73(8):147. doi: 10.5688/aj7308147.


Objectives: To examine health related quality of life (HRQOL), perceived stress, and coping skills in the 3 preclinical years of a doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) curriculum.

Methods: Health-related quality of life, perceived stress, and coping strategies were measured using the Short Form-36, Perceived Stress Scale, and Brief COPE. Average annual scores were compared across curriculum years.

Results: Two hundred thirteen students enrolled in the study. Entering students had physical and mental HRQOL scores that were similar to age-adjusted US norms. Mental HRQOL scores were significantly lower and stress significantly higher during the second year of the PharmD curriculum compared to the first year (p < 0.05). Lower mental HRQOL scores were associated with increased stress and use of maladaptive coping skills in all years of the curriculum.

Conclusion: Increased stress and reduced mental HRQOL were observed across the first 3 years of a PharmD curriculum. Methods to reduce stress and/or use of maladaptive coping skills are needed to improve students' HRQOL throughout the pharmacy curriculum.

Keywords: Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQOL); coping strategies; stress.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adult
  • California
  • Curriculum
  • Education, Pharmacy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Perception
  • Quality of Life*
  • Schools, Pharmacy*
  • Stress, Psychological / etiology*
  • Stress, Psychological / prevention & control
  • Students, Pharmacy / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors
  • Young Adult