Background Meaningful interaction with patients is considered to be crucial in the education of healthcare professionals. The use of simulated patients is well established within the MPharm at RGU. The involvement of patients and carers sharing their own experiences (active teaching) is a more recent innovation.
Purpose The aim of this research was to explore the views and perceptions of patients and carers on their involvement in the design and delivery of the MPharm curriculum.
Material and methods Qualitative, semi-structured, face-to-face interviews were conducted individually with patients (n=2) and carers (n=3) who had been involved in the delivery of a new Stage 4 module. One couple involved a patient and carer and they were interviewed together. All (n=7)patients and carers involved in the delivery were invited to participate and six were interviewed using a pre-set piloted topic guide. Interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim following participant written consent. Data were analysed thematically using the framework approach.
Results The main themes identified were: reasons for participant involvement in teaching; their views of advantages of involvement; challenges they faced; and views on involvement in curriculum design and development. Participants agreed that they wanted to be involved in teaching to support students in better delivery of their future profession. They wanted to emphasise to students that every patient is an individual, and listening and giving time to patients was important for them to improve the interaction of the pharmacist with the patient. Two participants were very tired after delivery and were overwhelmed by the large number of students. All participants said that they lack knowledge to be involved in informing on course content and preparing teaching materials.
Conclusion This study adds to the body of evidence in an area of pharmacy education where very limited research is available but findings are similar to studies with other healthcare professionals. The module has been well received by students and has won student-led awards for the last two consecutive years.
References and/or Acknowledgements We would like to thank the students who conducted the interviews and the patients and carers who took the time to participate
No conflict of interest