Interprofessional Education on Medication Adherence: Peer-to-Peer Teaching of Osteopathic Medical Students

Emily Chan, PharmD, BCACP; Shadi Doroudgar, PharmD, BCPS, BCGP, BCPP; Jimmy Huang, PharmD (Candidate); and Eric J. Ip, PharmD, BCPS, CSCS, CDE
Notes and Affiliations
Notes and Affiliations

Received: December 21, 2019

Accepted: January 27, 2020

Published: April 1, 2020

J Osteopath Med; 120(4): 218-227

Context: Medication nonadherence is an important barrier to achieving optimal clinical outcomes. Currently, there are limited data on methods used to train medical students about medication adherence.

Objectives: To evaluate the knowledge, confidence, and attitudes of first-year osteopathic medical students before and after a 30-minute peer-to-peer medication adherence education program led by a third-year pharmacy student.

Methods: All first-year medical students from Touro University California College of Osteopathic Medicine were invited to participate in 1 of 3 medication adherence educational sessions held in May 2019. A third-year pharmacy student who received training from Touro University California College of Pharmacy faculty served as the peer educator. Each session took approximately 1 hour to complete. The session included a preprogram survey, a 30-minute program, and a postprogram survey. Survey items included demographics; medication adherence knowledge, confidence, and attitudes; and attitudes toward the peer-to-peer educational format. Statistical comparisons of preprogram and postprogram knowledge, confidence, and attitudes were made using a paired t test, the McNemar test, and the Wilcoxon signed-rank test. P<.05 was considered statistically significant. A sample size calculation was performed using mean knowledge scores to determine whether the study achieved 80% power.

Results: Twenty-three students participated in the study. Medication adherence knowledge scores improved after the program (17.4 [77.4%] vs 9.98 [92.2%]; P<.001). Confidence scores also improved for all 7 survey items (P<.001). Medical students had more positive attitudes toward medication adherence after the program, with 8 of 10 survey items in this domain showing improvement. Most students had a positive attitude toward the peer-to-peer educational format. All participants reported that they would implement the medication adherence skills learned at the program with future patients.

Conclusions: A 30-minute peer-to-peer program led by a pharmacy student improved first-year medical students’ knowledge, confidence, and attitudes with regard to medication adherence and provided an effective format to enhance interprofessional learning and collaboration.

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