Needs assessment for developing a program to help train advanced-practice pharmacists for research

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Results of a needs assessment to determine priority topics and preferred formats for research training in pharmacy residency programs are reported.


For pharmacists seeking advanced-practice positions in academia, the ability to conduct practice-based research is expected. Pharmacy residency programs are a primary recruitment source for these positions, but research training varies by residency site and available expertise. To help define the optimal content and format of resident research training, ASHP and the ASHP Research and Education Foundation conducted a needs assessment targeting postgraduate year 1 (PGY1) pharmacy residency directors (RPDs). The response rate was 36.5% (271 of 743 invitees); the information obtained was used to guide development of a Web-based training series. Only 12% of the RPDs who participated in the survey indicated that currently available research training resources within their residency programs were sufficient. Sixty-seven percent of surveyed RPDs agreed that a Web-based training program would be a useful resource, and 81% agreed that the target audience should be pharmacy residents. Training topics of greatest interest to RPDs included (1) components of a resident research plan, (2) identifying research questions, (3) study design and sample selection, (4) project management, (5) data acquisition, cleaning, management, and analysis, and (6) presenting and publishing project results.


This needs assessment clearly identified opportunities for improving the infrastructure and content of PGY1 residency research training. At a minimum, training programs should focus on practice-based research concepts using readily accessible health-system data systems and provide universal accessibility and sufficient flexibility to allow residency programs to integrate the training in a manner that works best for the program.

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