A cross-sectional assessment of statistical knowledge among pharmacy faculty.

Affiliation

Illinois State University, Mennonite College of Nursing, Normal, IL, United States. Electronic address: [Email]

Abstract

BACKGROUND : The debate about the optimal level of research methods incorporated in doctor of pharmacy curricula is ongoing. Yet relatively little has been published about the research-based knowledge of the faculty in these programs. This study seeks to assess pharmacy faculty members' knowledge of fundamental statistical concepts.
METHODS : A cross-sectional survey included a random sample of US-based pharmacy schools. Invitations were sent to faculty in each selected pharmacy school to participate in the online survey comprised of demographic questions and a multiple-choice statistics knowledge assessment covering eight fundamental biostatistics concepts. Each question had three answer options, with an additional fourth 'opt-out' option for those wishing to avoid guessing.
RESULTS : The random sample of selected pharmacy schools resulted in email invitations sent to 2036 faculty from 30 pharmacy schools. The final study sample consisted of 139 pharmacy faculty members with a mean of 10.2 years of experience as a faculty member. Over 95% of pharmacy faculty reported that they read peer-reviewed scientific journal articles, while nearly 99% said the understanding of statistics was either 'somewhat important' (35%) or 'very important' (64%) in their role as a researcher. Pharmacy faculty achieved a mean of 5.1 correct responses out of eight knowledge-based questions.
CONCLUSIONS : Pharmacy faculty provided correct responses to 64% of the items about fundamental statistical concepts. These study results are useful for making decisions about biostatistics education and curriculum content, particularly as pharmacy programs continue to incorporate a prominent role for research.

Keywords

Pharmacy curricula,Research methods,Statistics knowledge,

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