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Education on prescribing for older patients in the Netherlands: a curriculum mapping

  • Keijsers, Carolina J. P. W.1, 2, 3
  • de Wit, Johanna E.2
  • Tichelaar, Jelle3, 4
  • Brouwers, Jacobus R. B. J.2
  • de Wildt, Dick J.5
  • de Vries, P. G. M.4
  • Jansen, Paul A. F.2
  • 1 Jeroen Bosch Hospital, Department of Geriatric Medicine, ‘s-Hertogenbosch, 5200 ME, The Netherlands , ‘s-Hertogenbosch (Netherlands)
  • 2 University Medical Centre Utrecht, Department of Geriatric Medicine and Expertise Centre Pharmacotherapy in Old Persons, Utrecht, The Netherlands , Utrecht (Netherlands)
  • 3 Education Committee/Working Group Research in Education of the Dutch Society of Clinical Pharmacology and Biopharmacy (NVKF&B), Utrecht, The Netherlands , Utrecht (Netherlands)
  • 4 VU University Medical Centre, Department of Internal Medicine, Section Pharmacotherapy and RECIPE (Research & expertise Centre in Pharmacotherapy Education), Amsterdam, The Netherlands , Amsterdam (Netherlands)
  • 5 University Medical Centre Utrecht, UMC Utrecht, Department of Translational Neurosciences and Pharmacology, Utrecht, The Netherlands , Utrecht (Netherlands)
Published Article
European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology
Publication Date
Mar 11, 2015
DOI: 10.1007/s00228-015-1830-2
Springer Nature


PurposePharmacology and pharmacotherapy education is being increasingly integrated in medical curricula, which might lead to a specific loss of knowledge in these subjects. This, in turn, could lead to harmful prescribing errors, especially in vulnerable older patients.MethodsTeachers who coordinated education in Dutch medical schools completed a structured interview on (geriatric) pharmacology and pharmacotherapy education. A list of core learning goals was developed. Pharmacology and pharmacotherapy education in general was compared to geriatric pharmacology and pharmacotherapy education.ResultsAll Dutch medical schools participated. Contact hours for education in pharmacology and pharmacotherapy ranged from 39 to 107 h; ECTSs (representing 28 study hours) ranged from 0 to 3. The various curricula covered, on average, 79 % of all learning goals for these subjects: knowledge 85 %, skills 76 %, and attitudes 66 %; the curricula also covered specific geriatric goals: knowledge 87 % and skills 65 %. All geriatric learning goals were met if a geriatrician was among the coordinators. Half (4 of 8) of the medical schools lacked appropriate assessment procedures. Evaluation was mostly based on students’ opinions. Teachers rated students as being moderately well prepared for daily practice.ConclusionsThere are large differences in the quantity and quality of (geriatric) pharmacology and pharmacotherapy education in Dutch medical schools. In general, more time should be devoted to skills and attitude, and the assessment procedures should be optimized with high priority. Other curricula with a problem-based approach might benefit from the points of improvement described in this article.

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