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Keywords:

  • Drug interaction;
  • patient safety;
  • medical errors;
  • education;
  • health professional student;
  • education;
  • college students;
  • health care;
  • pharmacology;
  • safety

Abstract

Purpose: To evaluate and compare the drug–drug interaction (DDI) knowledge of pharmacy, medical, and nurse practitioner (NP) students who are beginning supervised clinical practice.

Data sources: 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 Colleges of Medicine, Pharmacy, or Nursing's NP program. Students were asked to assess 15 drug pairs and to select an appropriate management strategy for each pair. The primary outcome measure was the ability to correctly categorize each drug pair into one of the five management responses. The secondary outcome measure was the number of clinically significant DDIs recognized.

Conclusions: Pharmacy students demonstrated significantly better knowledge than medical and NP students with respect to identifying and selecting management strategies for possible DDIs. However, there is much room for improvement for all groups.

Implications for practice: An increase in curricular content that focuses on DDIs has the potential to better prepare medical, pharmacy, and NP students for practice situations involving DDI alerts, and to increase the quality of patient care.