• Medical, Nursing, and Pharmacy Students’ Ability to Recognize Potential Drug-Drug Interactions: A Comparison of Healthcare Professional Students

      Warholak, Terri; Song, Mi Chi; Gessay, Austin; College of Pharmacy, The University of Arizona (The University of Arizona., 2009)
      OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study is to evaluate and compare the DDI knowledge of pharmacy, medical, and nurse practitioner students who are beginning clinical clerkships. METHODS: This study utilized a prospective evaluation of DDI knowledge among healthcare professional students who were currently enrolled in their final didactic year at the University of Arizona College of Medicine, College of Pharmacy, or College of Nursing’s nurse practitioner course. Students were provided with 15 possible DDI pairs, and asked to select an appropriate management strategy for each pair. Management options included: “Avoid Combination,” “Usually Avoid Combination,” “Take Precaution,” “No Special Precaution,” and “Not Sure.” The primary outcome measure was the ability to correctly categorize each DDI pair into one of the five management responses. The secondary outcome measure was the number of clinically significant DDIs recognized. Analysis of variance was used to evaluate differences between groups. An alpha of 0.05 was set a-priori. RESULTS: Response rates were 61% for medical students (72 of 119), 82% for pharmacy students (64 of 78) and 100% for nurse practitioner students (29 of 29). The mean number correct for management strategies was comparable in the medical students (2.5, SD= 1.9) and nurse practitioner students (3.0, SD= 1.9), while the pharmacy students had a mean score of 6.1 (SD= 2.2) correct answers. There was a significant difference between the groups in correct responses (p< 0.001). In regards to student ability to identify interactions, the mean number correct was 10.1 (SD= 2.6), 5.0 (SD= 3.3), and 4.4 (SD= 3.0) for pharmacy, medicine, and nursing respectively (F= 60.6; p< 0.001). Post hoc analysis demonstrated that pharmacy students performed significantly better than medical and nurse practitioner students in regards to their ability to: 1) select management strategies for DDI pairs; and 2) identify a DDI interaction. No significant differences were found between the medical and nurse practitioner students. CONCLUSIONS: Pharmacy students demonstrated better knowledge than medical and nurse practitioner students with respect to identifying and selecting management strategies for possible DDIs. However, there is much room for improvement for all groups.