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

Affiliation

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Department of Biostatistics, Gillings School of Global Public Health, Chapel Hill, NC, 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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