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Moral development from a pharmacy undergraduate to established practitioner - a longitudinal study

  • At: PPR SIG 2021 (2021)
  • Type: Digital
  • By: KAREEM-ALLIU, Waseeat (University of Hertfordshire, United Kingdom)
  • Co-author(s): Kareem-Alliu, W., Gallagher, C. & Umaru, N.
  • Abstract:


    Pharmacists are experiencing increasing levels of responsibility and clinical decision making in patient facing roles across all settings; including GP practices and urgent care. With many pharmacists being able to prescribe, moral and professional values are now more important than before.


    To measure and evaluate the moral reasoning of undergraduate pharmacy students at the University of Hertfordshire (UH) as they progress through formal education and through their first five years of professional practice.


    This research comprises of a longitudinal mixed methods approach. The Defining Issues Test 2 (DIT2) was completed by participants who commenced the MPharm programme in 2008, in each year of study, once after passing the General Pharmaceutical Council registration exam, as Newly Qualified pharmacists (NQ) and a final time 5 years in practice as more mature Established Practitioners (EP). One-to-one semi-structured interviews present opportunities for elaboration on experiences in practice that give rise to the pattern of moral development shown.


    There were statistically significant increases in moral development indices between Level 1 and Level 4 (p = 0.011) as well as Level 4 and Newly Qualified pharmacists (p = 0.000). Analysis showed a general upward trend from Levels 1 to 4 of the programme. Concerningly, the results also showed a regressive step in moral development between the NQ and EP Levels.


    Participants matured in one step increments towards higher moral development schemas. This was evident as participants progressed through formal education. Between Level 4 and NQ, it is suggested that participants ascended two levels to post-conventional level reasoning. Between the NQ and EP Level the opposite is apparent, where many participants reverted. This could be due to the increased professional responsibility that pharmacists face as they mature in their career.

Last update 28 September 2023

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