A comparative pilot study of the professional ethical thinking of Quebec pharmacy residents and French pharmacy interns

Abstract

Objective The main objective of this pilot study is to compare the professional ethical thinking of Quebec pharmacy residents and French pharmacy interns. The secondary objective is to compare the professional ethical thinking of Quebec pharmacy residents and first year French pharmacy interns. Setting Hospital pharmacy residents from Quebec, Canada and pharmacy interns from France. Methods This is a cross-sectional, descriptive, web-based survey. Main outcome measure For this study, professional ethical thinking was defined as the level of agreement/disagreement with statements about pharmacy ethics/dilemmas. Results A total of 208 usable questionnaires were completed (response rate 91% in Quebec and 11% in France). There were no significant differences between Quebec residents and French interns for 29/43 items (67%). However, there were significant differences in their level of agreement with 14/43 items (33%) surveyed by our questionnaire. The differences related to the following themes: economic aspects (four statements), pharmaceutical care, code of ethics, evaluation, clinical research (two statements each) and training and education, dispensing medications (one statement each). There were statistically significant differences between the two groups in terms of exposure to ethics during academic training and experiential practice. There were significant statistical differences between the two groups of first year pharmacy respondents for 11 statements (26%), with only two out of 11 statements being different from those reported in the overall comparison. Conclusion Published data on the professional ethical thinking of pharmacy residents and interns remain limited. We believe the higher exposure of Quebec residents to ethics during academic courses and experiential/practical training may have contributed to a higher level of agreement with some ethical statements.

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