Assessing pharmacy students' baseline tolerance for ambiguity, burnout, empathy, quality of life, and stress

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Abstract

Introduction: Several factors may affect student wellbeing, including tolerance for ambiguity, burnout, empathy, quality of life, and stress. A better understanding of how pharmacy students score on these scales relative to other health professional students could help educators and schools address and improve student wellbeing. The study objective was to determine a baseline measure of pharmacy student tolerance for ambiguity, burnout, empathy, quality of life, and stress. Methods: A voluntary survey including several assessment scales (Tolerance for Ambiguity, Oldenburg Burnout Inventory, Interpersonal Reactivity Index [empathy], Quality of Life Scale, and Perceived Stress Scale) was sent by email to all pharmacy students within a standalone college of pharmacy. Results: Two hundred thirty-one pharmacy students completed all aspects of the survey. Comparing each scale with sex, female students trended higher in Interpersonal Reactivity Index and scored significantly higher on the Oldenburg Burnout Inventory (disengagement), while male students scored significantly higher for Quality of Life. Fourth-year students scored significantly higher on the Tolerance for Ambiguity scale as compared to first- and second-year students and on the Quality of Life scale as compared with third-year students. Third-year students experienced the greatest levels of burnout. Differences were also noted based on students' anticipated area of practice (empathy) and desire to work with an underserved population (empathy and stress). Conclusions: Pharmacy students' responses to the included scales varied greatly when considering various demographic parameters. The significant differences identified are illuminating and represent potential areas for curricular improvement, student support, and further study within pharmacy school curricula.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)966-971
Number of pages6
JournalCurrents in Pharmacy Teaching and Learning
Volume14
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the National Institutes of Health's National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences , grant UL1TR002494. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health's National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022

Keywords

  • Ambiguity
  • Burnout
  • Curriculum
  • Empathy
  • Quality of life
  • Stress

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