An international survey of Health Literacy Education within schools of pharmacy

Glen J Swinburne, Gregory J Duncan, Kevin P McNamara, Kay Stewart, Lynne M Emmerton, Safeera Y Hussainy

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Background: Health literacy (HL) influences patients’ health status, use of the healthcare system and medication-related behaviours. However, the concept is relatively new to pharmacy and its incorporation in academic curricula has not been examined. 

Aims: To explore HL training in pharmacy schools internationally, and academics’ opinions in regards to how it should be taught and assessed. 

Methods: An anonymous, online survey was administered to academics who teach within pharmacy degree courses from countries where English is the main language. 

Results: Responses were received from 21 pharmacy schools in seven countries; 20 stated that HL was taught within their pharmacy degree, in four as a stand-alone topic. Small-group tutorials were thought to be the most beneficial form of teaching health literacy, best assessed using oral and objective structured clinical examinations. 

Conclusion: The majority of pharmacy schools taught health literacy and had similar opinions regarding best practice teaching and assessment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-100
Number of pages8
JournalPharmacy Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Communication
  • Curriculum
  • Education
  • Health literacy
  • Pharmacy
  • Students

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