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A NEW PBL INTEGRATED WITH SIMULATIONS AND LABORATORY DIAGNOSIS TOOL IN PHARMACY EDUCATION: A QUESTIONNAIRE-BASED STUDY

Objective: This study evaluates the impact of PBL-based blended learning with traditional teaching in the practicum of Pathophysiology course at the Faculty of Pharmacy, Complutense University of Madrid, by assessing students’ satisfaction survey.

Methods: 51 third year undergraduate pharmacy students of pathophysiology were divided in small groups of 12 students each. They were exposed to PBL activities included to the traditional tools teaching led by teacher as facilitators. Clinical real situations related to the female reproductive system as case-problems were presented in the Virtual Campus. Students were provided with clear guidelines for aims and objectives of the debate and related questions for the development of the practice. One week later, on the day of the practical session, students analysed the clinical problems, formulated hypothesis, and undertaken self-directed learning tasks. In addition, the PhysioEX 9.0 software allowed students to use a simulation virtual laboratory where they evaluated the hormone replacement therapy to ovariectomized rats as a replica of actual case-problem. In addition, histological diagnosis of the ovarian slices was carried out, and vaginal cytological diagnosis from patients were diagnosed by optical microscopy and related with ovarian dysfunction posed in the problem case. At the end of the week, the students completed a questionnaire regarding their PBL experience and on the suitability of each of the different materials used, as well as the attitudes generated by the implementation of the PBL system in the pathophysiology practical teaching. An anonymous survey was completed by the students and analyzed by using the Likert’s scale. We classified the survey questions into three sections by competences: transversal, curricular and methodological and teaching competences and correlated each item with the grouped competences.

Result and conclusion: The obtained results indicated that the incorporation of PBL, as a mixed learning strategy in the pathophysiology practices, had a positive impact on learning. The curricular competence was the best valuated by the student. The use of simulation and the histological diagnosis coupled to PBL improved the acquisition of critical assessment and management skills, increased the interest and involvement of students in their own learning, encouraged participation among work teams, generated a critical thinking of greater clarity for the acquisition of new competences and allowed feedback of learning (self-evaluation). Thus, the student could deep the practical pathophysiological mechanisms that are the basis of their knowledge as future pharmacists, which will allow them to propose effective therapeutic strategies. The results from all this PBL mixed methodology experience will help to understand better an integrating vision and multidisciplinary way to teach pathophysiology practical lessons.