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Integrating “Personality” into Psychopharmacotherapy Instruction in a Pharmacy Curriculum

1 January 2010


BACKGROUND: Recent survey results found that course content for psycho-pharmacotherapy across various schools of pharmacy focused mainly on depression, schizophrenia, general anxiety and bipolar disorders. In order to meet the demands of patient populations with co-morbid and pervasive personality disorders (PD), it may behoove pharmacy faculty to integrate PD into the curriculum using story-line case scenarios and group activities including PD.

OBJECTIVE: Patient cases and creative group assignments featuring patients with various integrated medical co-morbidities, psychiatric diagnoses, PD, functional / social stressors, and education/prognostic information were used to increase students’ exposure to, and knowledge of, PD.

METHODS: Students were exposed to story-line cases in lecture and given instructions on how to create a patient case addressing components of the five different axes used in psychiatry: Axis I (major psychiatric presentations); Axis II (PD); Axis III (medical diagnoses); Axis IV (functional limitations and stressors); and, Axis V (score for Global Assessment of Functioning) as part of a longitudinal group project.

RESULTS: Students were assessed using questions focusing on the domains of: commonly taught psychiatric topics; communication and health literacy; and, PD.


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