HIV and AIDS knowledge of Pharmacy students at the University of Limpopo (Medunsa Campus)/Tshwane University of Technology before and after a teaching intervention
Summers, R S
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Healthcare workers need to be qualified to deal with the specific requirements of the HIV/AIDS syndrome, which demands technical and scientific knowledge and understanding of the disease. Adequate knowledge about HIV/AIDS is an important means to reduce stress and could result in better care and improve information to the general public. Because of the community service nature of pharmacies, pharmacists are in the front line when it comes to treating minor illnesses, as patients will often approach a pharmacist with a health query before they see a medical practitioner. Hence, pharmacists have opportunities to recognise potential opportunistic infections or other HIV-associated complications and to refer patients for evaluation and management. The objective of this study was to assess the level of scientific knowledge of HIV/AIDS of undergraduate pharmacy students before and after a teaching intervention aimed to improve students’ scientific knowledge of the subject. A controlled study was carried out by administering pre- and post-intervention questionnaires to control and study groups. The study group was taken from the various BPharm student groups during 2004 and 2005. Although each group acted as its own control, an additional control group of first year dentistry students was included in 2005. The mean HIV/AIDS knowledge scores and the knowledge gains of the control and study groups were compared before and after the intervention. The knowledge gains from the interventions were statistically significant. The increases indicate the positive effect of the teaching intervention. The teaching intervention can therefore be recommended to be part of the undergraduate BPharm curriculum.