Development of a capstone course to improve student confidence and pharmacotherapy knowledge prior to advanced pharmacy practice experiences

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Objective: To describe a capstone course designed to improve student confidence with clinical skills, improve confidence with providing medication therapy, and evaluate student knowledge. Design: A 2-week capstone course was incorporated into the third-year pharmacotherapy course in a Doctor of Pharmacy program. Students evaluated complex patient cases and developed pharmacotherapy care plans. Pre- and post-capstone course survey results were used to assess change in student confidence using clinical skills and providing medication therapy, and quiz and exam results were used to assess student knowledge. Results: Student confidence significantly improved from baseline for clinical skills (p < 0.02 across all clinical skills domains) and providing medication therapy (p < 0.01 across all disease states). Students reported the largest improvement in confidence for the clinical skill of creating a Subjective/Objective/Assessment/Plan (SOAP) note on a patient with multiple disease states (p < 0.001). Students reported the highest confidence increase for acute kidney injury (p < 0.001). The average written exam score was 87.2% (standard deviation ± 8.0) and the average verbal exam score was 79.1% (standard deviation ± 15.7). Conclusion: A 2-week capstone course can be valuable to improve confidence and assess student knowledge prior to advanced pharmacy practice experiences (APPEs).

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