Closing the classroom theory to practice gap by simulating a psychiatric pharmacy practice experience

Amy L. Pittenger, Erica Dimitropoulos, Jessica Foag, Danielle Bishop, Steve Panizza, Jeffrey R. Bishop

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Objective. To examine the feasibility and effectiveness of combining whole-task and guided reflection educational design principles with cloud-based learning technologies to simulate the clinical psychiatric advanced pharmacy practice experience (APPE) in the classroom to begin to close the theory to practice gap. Methods. Components of the typical student experience while completing an APPE were integrated into the course experience, ie, patient case work-ups, facilitated sessions with a preceptor, personal statement of goals and progress with feedback, and intentional interaction with peer-learners. Multiple sources of quantitative and qualitative data were collected and analyzed. Results. Twelve third-year pharmacy students from two campuses participated in and successfully completed this one-credit elective advanced psychiatric pharmacotherapy course. Eleven board-certified psychiatric pharmacists (BCPP) served as visiting experts, some participating for multiple weeks, and provided preceptor-like feedback to the case presentations in spring 2017. All BCPP pharmacists plus an additional geriatric pharmacist specialist participated in the course in spring 2018. Results of the quantitative and qualitative analyses demonstrated that students progressed in their readiness for APPEs and gained additional psychiatric pharmacy knowledge and evidence-based medicine decision making skills. Conclusion. Pharmacy programs are challenged to find additional ways to improve student readiness for APPEs and expand psychiatric learning opportunities to meet the increasing mental health needs across clinical settings. This example provides a feasible and effective strategy to do both without the requirement to create extensive new learning materials or add significant faculty workload.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7276
JournalAmerican journal of pharmaceutical education
Issue number10
StatePublished - Dec 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy. All rights reserved.


  • APPE-readiness
  • Active-learning
  • Psychiatric pharmacy


Dive into the research topics of 'Closing the classroom theory to practice gap by simulating a psychiatric pharmacy practice experience'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this