Introduction of a pharmaceutical calculations strategy to first year MPharm students

Paul M. Rutter, Adam Watts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The ability of healthcare professionals to perform pharmaceutical calculations competently is without question. Research has primarily focused on nurses, and to a lesser extent doctors, ability to perform this function with findings highlighting poor aptitude. Studies involving pharmcists are few but are more positive than other healthcare staff. Despite this, there is concern over students ability to do calculations too sufficient high stanards. Aims: To facilitate first year student learning with respect to improving their confidence and competence to perform pharmaceutical calculations. Method: A year-long structured programme was introduced in to the first year curriculum that involved a blended learning approach to learning and culminated in a summative asessment. Results: Students performed significantly better in the final summative assessment than they did during a mid-year formative assessment. Mathematical qualification on entry appeared not to affect performance but proactive engagement with the structured learning programme did improve performance. Conclusion: The pharmaceutical calculations strategy did appear to improve student performance but further work on future cohorts is required.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-164
Number of pages8
JournalPharmacy Education
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • Calculations
  • Students
  • Undergraduate


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