Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
Patients and Caregivers Helping to Shape the Undergraduate Pharmacy.pdf (479.24 kB)

Patients and caregivers helping to shape the undergraduate pharmacy mental health curriculum

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journal contribution
posted on 2021-06-10, 15:26 authored by Dolores KeatingDolores Keating, Stephen McWilliams, Caroline HynesCaroline Hynes, Audrey Purcell, Mary Clarke, Judith StrawbridgeJudith Strawbridge
Objective. To develop a model system for involving patients and caregivers in curriculum development of mental health education in an undergraduate pharmacy program.
Methods. Purposive recruitment was used to convene a focus group of nine people with experience in using mental health services from either the patient or caregiver perspective. Group members were asked about their experience with using pharmacy services and their suggestions for enhancement of the undergraduate curriculum. Thematic analysis was conducted independently by two researchers.
Results. Patients and caregivers believed that pharmacists could contribute to the care of people who experience mental health conditions by supporting shared decision making, providing information, actively managing side effects of psychotropic medication, and conducting regular medication review. Subjects suggested that the pharmacy undergraduate curriculum should introduce mental health from the beginning, include self-care for students, integrate mental and physical health education, and enhance students' communication skills. The curriculum should include broader issues relevant to mental health beyond the use of medication, such as stigma, the recovery approach, and interprofessional cooperation. These changes could support graduates in engaging proactively with people experiencing mental health difficulties.
Conclusion. Involving patients and caregivers in the design of an undergraduate pharmacy curriculum in mental health resulted in a more person-centered and student-centered approach to mental health education at our university. Ultimately, the changes made to the undergraduate curriculum will improve the ability of pharmacy graduates to better meet the needs of patients.



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Published Citation

Keating D, McWilliams S, Hynes C, Purcell A, Clarke M, Strawbridge J. Patients and caregivers helping to shape the undergraduate pharmacy mental health curriculum. Am J Pharm Educ. 2019;83(9):7138.

Publication Date

1 November 2019

PubMed ID



  • School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences

Research Area

  • Health Professions Education
  • Population Health and Health Services


American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy


  • Published Version (Version of Record)