The identification of medicine education learning outcomes for ambulatory, noninstitutionalized older adults Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/8049g8506

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  • The primary purpose of this study was the identification of specific medicine education learning outcomes which are important and appropriate for ambulatory, non-institutionalized older adults. A modification of the Delphi technique was utilized and a panel of 16 national experts was selected on the basis of four criteria to respond to two rounds of a questionnaire. Professions represented on the expert panel included three medical doctors, eight pharmacists and/or pharmacologists, four geriatric nurses and one biological gerontologist. Panel members were asked to indicate their level of agreement or disagreement on a six-point scale regarding the appropriateness and importance of specific medicine education learning outcomes for inclusion in a medicine education program designed expressly for older adults. The six-point scale was assigned numerical values of one through six, where one represented "Strongly Disagree" and six, "Strongly Agree." Experts were also asked to make modifications of, and additions to, the original outcomes submitted for their judgment. The specific learning outcomes were grouped under one of the following seven general instructional objectives to which they relate: 1) understands fundamental principles of aging; 2) knows common drug terms; 3) understands fundamental concepts concerning drugs; 4) recognizes that each drug has risks as well as benefits; 5) understands the older adult is vulnerable to problems with drugs; 6) recognizes the importance of being an activated patient; and 7) comprehends older adults are susceptible to fraudulent health practices. Gronlund's scheme was used for developing the general instructional objectives and the respective specific learning outcomes which must be demonstrated by the learner to determine whether or not a given objective has been achieved. The mean and the percentage agreement index were calculated for each specific learning outcome. Those which had both a mean of 4.80 or above and a "Strongly Agree" or "Agree" rating by a minimum of 75 percent of the expert panelists (percentage agreement index) were considered to have reached consensus. The first questionnaire presented 123 specific learning outcomes. The experts' recommendations for modifications and additions obtained in the first round of questionning were utilized to construct round two of the questionnaire which consisted of 11 additional and 18 modified specific learning outcomes. Utilizing the criteria for consensus established for this study, a total of 119 (86.8%) of the specific learning outcomes submitted on two rounds of the questionnaire reached consensus, with approximately one-third (31%) of these reaching a consensus rating of 100% as defined by this study. The modified Delphi technique proved useful as a research method by affording the experts the opportunity to modify, or to add to, the specific learning outcomes submitted in the first round of the questionnaire. This procedure resulted in a greater number of specific learning outcomes reaching consensus as well as an increased level of agreement for those outcomes which were modified to incorporate the recommendations of the experts. The 119 specific medicine education learning outcomes identified in this study can be utilized: 1) as a basis for the development of a complete medicine education program for older adults by establishing guidelines for the selection of appropriate content, methods, materials and evaluation procedures; 2) in the academic preparation and inservice education of professionals who are involved in maintaining and promoting the health of older adults; and 3) as guidelines for the preparation of educational materials for the safe and effective use of medicines by the elderly. In view of the relative paucity of medicine education programs for older adults, notwithstanding the empirically substantiated need for such programs, the relevance and timeliness of this study are apparent.
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