Development of a measure to assess pharmacy students' beliefs about monitoring chronic diseases

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Abstract

Background:

Pharmacy students in the community setting are ideally situated to help patients monitor chronic diseases; however, their beliefs toward monitoring patients' health are not known.

Objectives:

Study objectives are to identify relevant survey constructs and survey measures about monitoring beliefs, establish their psychometric properties, and describe students' beliefs about monitoring.

Methods:

Four constructs that assess pharmacy students' monitoring beliefs were identified through literature review and pilot research: self-efficacy, outcome expectancies, role beliefs, and mattering. Measures of each construct were adapted or developed. The psychometric properties of each scale were evaluated in fourth year pharmacy students. A confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was used to provide evidence for the factor structure of the scales and validity. Internal consistency reliability was assessed with Cronbach's alpha. Finally, students' responses were described.

Results:

The response rate was 94% (119 of 127 students). A CFA revealed that a 5-factor model with the elimination of 2 questions was a better fitting model than the originally proposed 4-factor model. Reliability was good for scales except the negative outcome expectancies. Overall, students had positive attitudes toward their monitoring role and were “rather sure” they could routinely monitor.

Conclusions:

Evidence was provided for the psychometric properties of new measures of monitoring specific self-efficacy, outcome expectancies, and monitoring role orientation, as well as a new measure of general mattering for pharmacy. These instruments have the potential to help pharmacy practice researchers assess pharmacy students' and ultimately pharmacists' beliefs about monitoring.

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