Student knowledge and confidence with prescribing hormonal contraception

Curr Pharm Teach Learn. 2020 Jun;12(6):751-762. doi: 10.1016/j.cptl.2020.01.031. Epub 2020 Feb 20.


Introduction: Pharmacists' scope of practice has expanded in several states to include independently prescribing and dispensing hormonal contraceptive products. The objective of this research was to assess student knowledge and confidence with prescribing hormonal contraception following a simulated patient case activity.

Methods: This was a descriptive, exploratory, nonexperimental study utilizing educational assessments and survey data from second professional year students during the 2017 to 2018 and 2018 to 2019 academic years. Student performance was assessed using a five-question readiness assurance test at the beginning of class, documented patient assessment and plan, and five-question post-activity quiz. Student confidence with interpreting legal regulations and following protocol instructions, performing a patient assessment, prescribing an appropriate contraceptive product, and providing verbal and written communication to patients and providers was assessed using a nine-question survey at the end of class.

Results: Average student performance was consistent on the readiness assurance test between the two years. Students scored an average of 84.2% and 91.6% on the documented assessment and plan and 96.4% and 91.2% on the post-activity quiz for each year, respectively. Students felt most confident with navigating and interpreting a prescription drug formulary, providing the patient with written documentation, and communicating with the patient's prescriber. Students were less confident with selecting an appropriate product based on patient-specific factors and providing education on missed doses.

Conclusions: This case-based activity demonstrated student knowledge and confidence with prescribing hormonal contraceptives.

Keywords: Confidence; Hormonal contraception; Knowledge; Pharmacy education; Prescribing; Student pharmacist.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Drug Prescriptions / standards*
  • Drug Prescriptions / statistics & numerical data
  • Education, Pharmacy / methods
  • Education, Pharmacy / standards
  • Education, Pharmacy / statistics & numerical data
  • Educational Measurement / methods
  • Educational Measurement / statistics & numerical data
  • Hormonal Contraception / instrumentation*
  • Hormonal Contraception / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Patient Simulation
  • Pennsylvania
  • Self Concept*
  • Students, Pharmacy / psychology*
  • Students, Pharmacy / statistics & numerical data
  • Surveys and Questionnaires