Pharmacy Education

Information and angle of scholars relating to geriatric care


World demographic traits predict an exponential improve within the older grownup inhabitants aged 60 and above in most international locations worldwide by 2050.1 In Malaysia, the inhabitants progress of the older adults above 60 years has outpaced that of the younger, doubling from roughly 1 million individuals to over 2.2 million individuals between 1991 and 2010.2 This hole is anticipated to increase additional over time, with a predicted rise to 7 million (~17.6%) of the anticipated Malaysian inhabitants of 40 million individuals by 2040.3

Inhabitants ageing will increase the pressure on current healthcare methods because the older adults inhabitants is extra prone to endure from a number of comorbidities and tends to show the next dependency and utilisation of healthcare providers when in comparison with the younger.4,5 Consequently, future healthcare professionals should be ready sufficiently all through their undergraduate diploma applications to recognise, assess and handle the difficult healthcare wants of the older grownup inhabitants. As well as, it is usually important that the communication expertise of future healthcare professionals are strengthened sufficiently. Therefore, they’ll be capable to educate older grownup sufferers, promote well being literacy, reply effectively to any communication limitations, or empathise appropriately with their affected person’s well being difficulties.6

A number of the well being difficulties distinctive to the older grownup inhabitants might embrace lowering handbook dexterity, reminiscence impairment, listening to impairment and different age-related notion adjustments.7 These limitations can play a outstanding position in impacting an older grownup affected person’s therapy adherence behaviours and will immediately have an effect on the sort and stage of healthcare supplied. Moreover, at the least half of the worldwide older grownup inhabitants has been discovered to endure from three or extra persistent illnesses, leading to an more and more difficult setting to supply optimum care.8 Inappropriate medicine use and polypharmacy are additionally frequent issues confronted by older adults that can proceed to dominate and burden the healthcare system closely.9

Up to now decade, limitations in medical, pharmacy, and nursing college students’ geriatric schooling and information have been famous.10–15 Nonetheless, vital effort has been made to increase and enhance geriatric schooling in education schemes associated to those skilled disciplines. Healthcare college students should be outfitted with an sufficient information base about organic ageing and pharmacological and way of life administration in older adults. Appropriate schooling initiatives have taken place to organize college students in healthcare disciplines to ship applicable medical care. In pharmacy, these initiatives embrace introducing related requirements and suggestions and enhancing the curriculum information to assist pharmacists’ schooling of geriatric-specific medicine to make sure protected and efficient medicine administration for older adults.16,17

At the moment, there isn’t a printed info relating to pharmacy college students’ attitudes in direction of geriatric sufferers within the Southeast Asia area, particularly in Malaysia. Subsequently, that is the primary research performed in Malaysia that aimed to evaluate the information and attitudes amongst pharmacy college students in direction of older grownup sufferers and the geriatrics-focused course work throughout the pharmacy curriculum.

Supplies and Strategies

Research Design and Contributors

A cross-sectional survey was performed at 5 completely different private and non-private universities in Malaysia between September and December 2018. The colleges have been chosen based on preliminary approval situations of the pharmacy faculty for every college. This research included final-year pharmacy college students solely. The choice was chosen to make sure these chosen college students had been uncovered to geriatric care both of their course within the early years or via scientific rotations and placements. Yr 1 to yr 3 of the undergraduate programme have been excluded from this research based mostly on the truth that there is perhaps a probability that they’d not but lined or been uncovered to the ideas of geriatric care of their curriculum or had not but been rostered for scientific rotations or placements. The sampling body included all final-year (fourth yr) pharmacy college students enrolled full time on the collaborating universities in the course of the research interval. The variety of enrolled college students in the course of the research interval was obtained from the respective lecturer coordinators in every college. The research was performed for 4 months, from 1st September 2018 to thirty first December 2019.

Research Instrument

A pre-validated questionnaire was used as an information assortment instrument. It comprised three sections: a sociodemographic part, a information evaluation part utilizing a validated 28-item Geriatric Information Evaluation Scale (GKAS), and a piece assessing pupil attitudes in direction of geriatric care schooling and older sufferers. The GKAS measures geriatric information within the areas of ageing illness, bodily exercise, drug remedy, and vitamin with scores marked as both right or incorrect.18 The GKAS was chosen as an applicable instrument of measure as a result of its good design being a multiple-choice questionnaire relatively than a dichotomous instrument. It was additionally a psychometrically sound instrument that assessed college students’ skilled information of ageing in older adults. Scores on this part ranged from 0 to twenty-eight based mostly on right responses. Every pupil obtained one mark for an accurate response and a zero mark for an incorrect response. Every pupil obtained a closing information rating that indicated the variety of questions answered accurately, the place the next rating indicated higher information of ageing in older adults. Merchandise right response charge was calculated for every pupil.

The attitudes evaluation part was divided into two elements. The primary half was tailored from a earlier research targeted on well being professionals’ instructional wants in geriatric care.19 The second half included ten statements used to find out the scholars’ attitudes in direction of older grownup sufferers. The chosen statements have been adopted from the Geriatrics Attitudes Survey developed on the College of California, Los Angeles.20 This half was a 10-item, 5-point Likert scale, ranging from “Strongly disagree” to “Strongly agree”, validated for measuring well being care professionals’ attitudes towards older individuals and geriatric sufferers.21–23 Positivity of angle was assessed by considering the entire cohort’s common complete rating. College students who had a complete rating, from the ordinal information, above the typical have been thought of to have a optimistic angle, whereas those that scored under the typical have been thought of unfavorable. Cronbach’s alpha was used to examine the reliability of the modified gadgets. The alpha coefficient of the gadgets was 0.71. A draft was given to a bunch of pharmacy college students (10) for suggestions relating to the questionnaire validation.

Knowledge Assortment and Evaluation

The principal investigator invited a number of faculties/schools from different universities to increase the survey distribution. After getting approval from the institutes involved in distributing the survey amongst their pharmacy college students, the self-administered questionnaires have been distributed on the finish of their lecture session. The aim of the research was defined to the scholars utilizing a participant info sheet. The scholars have been assured that finishing the questionnaire wouldn’t have an effect on their grades within the course, and their participation was fully voluntary. As well as, all enrolled individuals supplied their implied consent kind by answering and finishing the survey. The scholars accomplished these questionnaires anonymously.

The collected information have been encoded and analysed utilizing IBM Statistical Package deal for the Social Sciences (SPSS) software program model 26.0. All individuals’ solutions have been excluded from the research in the event that they missed out >20% of the questionnaires. Knowledge evaluation was carried out within the type of descriptive and inferential statistics. Subsequent questionnaires have been introduced in classes by frequencies, percentages and imply ± commonplace deviation for descriptive evaluation. Moral approval for this research was granted by the Human Ethics Committee at Monash College, Malaysia (ID No: 15274).


Sociodemographic Traits

A complete of 311/444 college students agreed to take part on this research (response charge = 70.0%). The demographic traits on this research are proven in Desk 1. Nearly all of college students who participated on this research have been feminine (71.7%). As well as, many college students who participated on this research nonetheless had dwelling grandparents (71.7%) and shared an in depth relationship with their grandparents (74.3%).

Desk 1 Demographic Traits of Pharmacy College students (n = 311)

Information and Perspective Towards Geriatric Care Training

The extent of information about geriatric affected person care amongst pharmacy college students is in Desk 2. Nearly all of the scholars spotlight that they’ve low to common information about geriatric care. Solely 61 college students (19.6%) spotlight excessive geriatric care information (Desk 2).

Desk 2 Stage of Information of Pharmacy College students About Geriatric Primarily based on Geriatric Information Evaluation Scale (GKAS) Rating (N = 311)

The angle of the pharmacy college students relating to pharmacy schooling is recorded in Desk 3. Nearly all of the scholars (89.2%) agree and strongly agree that taking a course targeted on geriatric care is of nice significance. Barely above three quarters (77.6%) of the scholars indicated that their information of geriatric care is sufficient. Equally, a big portion of the scholars (87.9%) confirmed curiosity in rising their information of geriatrics.

Desk 3 Pharmacy College students’ Attitudes Concerning Geriatric Pharmacy Training (N = 311)

The angle of the final-year college students in direction of grownup older sufferers is recorded in Desk 4. Nearly half of the scholars (48.0%) are impartial in whether or not they would favor to look after older or youthful sufferers, although the remaining college students (18.7%) are extra inclined in direction of caring for youthful sufferers. Over half of the scholars (65.5%) agree that older sufferers are much less organised, and whereas they might not be contributing considerably to well being care prices, over three quarters (78.5%) of the scholars agree that society has to look after the older grownup.

Desk 4 Closing-Yr Pharmacy College students’ Attitudes Concerning Older Grownup Sufferers (N = 311)


This research is taken into account the primary of its variety to judge pharmacy college students’ stage of information and angle relating to geriatric care and older sufferers in Asia. Inhabitants ageing is rising globally in addition to in Malaysia. Therefore, geriatric care schooling has grow to be a vital topic that pharmacy faculties mustn’t neglect or ignore.24

The outcomes of the GKAS confirmed that pharmacy college students in Malaysia have common information about geriatric care. Surprisingly, this rating was greater than comparable research performed amongst PharmD college students within the US, a five-year programme in comparison with the 4-year bachelor’s undergraduate programme studied by Malaysian college students.18 The excessive information rating could also be attributed to the geriatric-specific studying content material and scientific experiential coaching that the collaborating universities have integrated into their pharmacy curriculum. Nonetheless, the information scores fluctuated between the 5 particular person institutes, probably as a result of completely different ranges of the geriatric schooling publicity of the varied applications in these institutes. It’s important to supply foundational information and expertise that permit college students to look after older sufferers.

The outcomes additionally indicated that pharmacy college students understand the significance of getting in depth information in geriatric care and categorical curiosity in rising information. That is per the findings of Holmes et al, which demonstrated that almost all college students expressed the should be educated extra in geriatric care regardless of their present restricted information.25 The rising variety of sufferers in older age with advanced persistent diseases requires equally educated personnel to are inclined to them. It’s discovered that schooling in geriatric care is prioritised in postgraduate educations, reminiscent of grasp’s and doctorate programmes, relatively than undergraduate ones. Nonetheless, fewer college students often pursue their research till the doctorate stage within the pharmaceutical discipline; thus, this lack of expertise on geriatric care interprets into the office.24 When information just isn’t shared on the undergraduate stage, it’s mirrored within the office as most personnel nonetheless lack these expertise. This helps the findings of a earlier research that asserted how obligatory programs in geriatric schooling in any respect ranges of pharmacy faculty are a vital a part of the curriculum that has immediately relevant classes within the office.26

Furthermore, curiously, final-year pharmacy college students confirmed a really optimistic angle in direction of older grownup sufferers. This result’s per different research investigating pharmacy college students’ attitudes towards older adults.27–30 Primarily based on earlier findings, the appropriateness of care supplied by the pharmacists is perhaps decided through their attitudes towards this inhabitants.23 A lot of the individuals recruited on this research demonstrated an in depth connection to their grandparents and will account for the noticed optimistic attitudes towards older sufferers. Earlier research discovered that exposing healthcare skilled college students to a geriatrics-care focussed-course improved their attitudes towards older sufferers.31–34

Contributors in some way agreed that older adults may not contribute a lot to healthcare. Nonetheless, their contribution in direction of healthcare of their youthful years shouldn’t be dismissed, as it’s reported that 43% of adults don’t use their medical insurance till their older grownup years.35 This asserts the research of De Geer et al, which point out that society has to look after older grownup sufferers.36 Moreover, the upper possibilities of contracting persistent diseases and decrease possibilities of restoration result in older adults appreciating healthcare greater than, the youthful inhabitants. Subsequently, these sentiments must be bolstered within the early levels of pharmacy to enhance personnel’s information of geriatric care and undertake a extra cooperative and collaborative angle once they come throughout geriatrics in additional research or follow.

Moreover, pharmacy college students agreed that geriatric sufferers are much less organised and will fail to supply complete info on their medical historical past. Nonetheless, it’s not a purpose for them to obtain negligent well being care.37 There’s a want to extend the information of healthcare personnel in geriatric care, as this could enhance the standard of healthcare administered to older adults. The present state of a affected person shouldn’t be thought of to measure whether or not they deserve optimum well being care. As an alternative, the main focus of well being care must be on offering every affected person with a good likelihood at restoration and survival. Nonetheless, it considerations to notice how older adults are sometimes given biased well being care.38 When the well being personnel really feel that the older grownup affected person has effectively superior in sickness and would most likely die, they might have a relaxed method in direction of their therapy.39 Subsequently, geriatric care and schooling should be prioritised to scale back the incidents of older adults being taken benefit of with none accountability. As an alternative of withholding assets in therapy and giving technique to the older grownup to battle for his or her wellbeing with restricted assets, the angle of the healthcare personnel must be channelled in direction of a extra considerate method.40 Educating potential pharmacists to have a optimistic angle towards older sufferers is a important step that helps to enhance geriatric healthcare system in addition to improve their survival charge.

Lastly, the research has sure limitations. The pattern dimension collected might have contributed to some recall bias within the survey solutions, although the bias must be minimal with a 70% response charge.41 Moreover, the research didn’t account for work expertise with the older sufferers outdoors of their instructional actions, which can affect their information and attitudes.


There’s a necessity to extend the information and angle of the personnel on geriatric well being care to enhance the well being care of the older grownup sufferers and improve their possibilities of survival from persistent diseases. Subsequently, it’s urged that schools, faculties, and pharmacy faculties in Malaysia rethink implementing extra complete geriatrics-focused programs inside their curriculum, for instance, together with a simulation and different instructing strategies throughout the instructing actions. Moreover, long-term observational research are wanted to evaluate the affect of implementing these programs on future graduates whereas pursuing their follow careers. As well as, making these programs as a obligatory element within the pharmacy accreditation program, programs with a extra profound emphasis on geriatric care will probably be helpful to equip the longer term era of pharmacists in offering higher medical look after geriatric sufferers in Malaysia.


The authors wish to acknowledge Sunil Shrestha, PhD Pupil, Monash College Malaysia for his important evaluation of the manuscript.

Writer Contributions

All authors made a major contribution to the work reported, whether or not that’s within the conception, research design, execution, acquisition of information, evaluation and interpretation, or in all these areas; took half in drafting, revising or critically reviewing the article; gave closing approval of the model to be printed; have agreed on the journal to which the article has been submitted; and comply with be accountable for all features of the work.


This analysis obtained no particular grant from any funding company within the public, business or not-for-profit sectors.


The authors report no conflicts of curiosity on this work.


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