Improving advanced pharmacy practice experiences with an intention/reflection practice

Kerry K Fierke, Gardner A. Lepp, Whitney D. Maxwell, Keri D Hager, Brandon J. Sucher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Experiential learning in pharmacy has the potential to offer transformative experiences for students. Advanced pharmacy practice experiences (APPEs) can be improved if students are encouraged and able to (1) identify and track individual learning gains and interests, and (2) develop self-awareness and intrinsic motivation.

EDUCATIONAL ACTIVITY AND SETTING: The intention/reflection (I/R) practice was developed to address these educational concepts and help facilitate meaningful experiences during APPEs. The I/R tool is a simple, nontechnical, resource-light activity consisting of a set of three to five questions at the beginning, midpoint, and end of an APPE. The questions were designed to help students identify how they can attain meaningful gains from each APPE. Preceptors across three universities designed, implemented, and evaluated the impact of an I/R practice within the context of a variety of APPEs. The APPEs varied between 4, 5, 6, and 10 weeks and were focused on patient care and academia.

FINDINGS: Three of the I/R questions were selected for thematic analysis, one at each point of the rotation. These questions were strategically selected because they demonstrate the value resulting from the progressive nature of the I/R tool. The answers to the three questions were descriptively coded to capture the main thought(s) of each student's response. A quarter of students indicated I/R helped them achieve their goals.

SUMMARY: A retrospective pre-post survey demonstrated statistically significant improvements in all survey items, including (1) ability to identify learning outcomes, (2) focus and motivation, and (3) self-awareness and metacognition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)394-401
Number of pages8
JournalCurrents in Pharmacy Teaching and Learning
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2019


  • APPE
  • Advanced practicum
  • Experiential
  • Intention
  • Reflection
  • Student outcomes

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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