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Pharmacists' perspectives on the impact of postgraduate distance learning on their well-being: A qualitative study.

O'Byrne, Rose-Marie; White, Simon; Chew-Graham, Carolyn A.




Introduction: Undertaking postgraduate education is becoming increasingly common among United Kingdom (UK) pharmacists to facilitate career progression. However, whilst there is evidence that postgraduate study can negatively affect well-being (defined as when "an individual is feeling good and functioning positively"), there is a lack of research into the well-being of pharmacists as postgraduate learners. This study therefore aimed to explore pharmacist learners' perceptions of the impact on their well-being of undertaking a distance learning postgraduate diploma in clinical pharmacy at a UK university.

Methods: Semi-structured interviews with students enrolled in a postgraduate clinical pharmacy diploma programme were conducted using Microsoft Teams (Microsoft, Corp). An interview guide was developed according to the aim of the study and modified iteratively. Recruitment continued until data saturation was achieved. Interview recordings were transcribed verbatim and analysed by thematic analysis using the principles of constant comparison.

Results: The results highlighted three themes: juggling act, transition and support, and attitudes to study and well-being. Participants reported struggling to juggle multiple commitments; The transition to postgraduate education was described as difficult; university communication methods as well as insufficient employer support were reported to have had a negative impact on well-being. The COVID-19 pandemic impacted further on well-being.

Conclusions: The findings of this study add to the literature that postgraduate study whilst working may negatively affect pharmacist learners' well-being. This may help universities, employers, and learners develop strategies to prevent, where possible, and better manage challenges that can lead to poor well-being among learners.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 29, 2023
Online Publication Date Aug 14, 2023
Deposit Date Aug 31, 2023
Journal Currents in Pharmacy Teaching and Learning
Print ISSN 1877-1297
Electronic ISSN 1877-1300
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 15
Issue 10
Pages 861-867
Keywords Postgraduate education, Pharmacy education, Well-being, Distance learning
Additional Information This article is maintained by: Elsevier; Article Title: Pharmacists' perspectives on the impact of postgraduate distance learning on their well-being: A qualitative study; Journal Title: Currents in Pharmacy Teaching and Learning; CrossRef DOI link to publisher maintained version:; Content Type: article; Copyright: © 2023 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc.