Pharmacogenetics (PGx) science has evolved significantly with a huge number of studies exploring the effect of genetic variants on interindividual variability of drug response. In this study, we assessed the knowledge, attitudes and preparedness of Pharm-D vs. medical students toward PGx.
A paper-based cross-sectional survey was performed. A pilot-tested questionnaire consisting of 21 questions (demographics 5, knowledge 6, attitude 6, and preparedness 4) was administered to 900 healthcare students at different years of study. Descriptive and inferential analyses were used.
Out of the 900 students approached, 852 (94.7%) completed the questionnaire. The overall students’ mean (SD) percentage knowledge score (PKS) was poor [46.7% (18.7)]. The mean (SD) attitude and preparedness scores for all students were 4.68 (1.32), and 1.9 (1.40), respectively, indicating overall positive attitudes, but low preparedness to apply PGx to clinical care. Pharm-D students’ overall PKS was significantly higher than medical students (P < 0.0001). However, there was no significant difference in terms of attitude and preparedness scores. Interestingly, as the year of study increased, the knowledge scores increased as well, with 6th-year students had the highest knowledge scores, while preparedness in applying PGx was higher among the junior students (the 3rd and 4th year of study).
Pharm-D and medical students have inadequate knowledge and low preparedness despite the overall positive attitude towards PGx. There is a need to raise knowledge and to enhance the level of preparedness of medical and Pharm-D students towards PGx and its applications in clinical practice.