The Effect of a Student Pharmacist Directed Health-Education Program for Elementary-School Children

  • Kelly Lynn Matson The University of Rhode Island
  • Katherine Kelly Orr The University of Rhode Island
  • Caitlin Marino University of Rochester Medical Center
  • Lisa Cohen The University of Rhode Island
Keywords: community engagement, health education, pediatrics


Objective: The primary objective of this study was to measure the effect of an annual student pharmacist led elementary-school health education program by assessing children’s comprehension of educational sessions.  Secondary objectives were to evaluate student pharmacists’ knowledge of health-related topics and practice skills.

Methods: Student pharmacists led interactive learning sessions for elementary school students on nutrition, physical activity, summer safety, hygiene, medication safety, and tobacco prevention. Pre- and post-intervention surveys were administered to measure change in knowledge of health promotion and healthy lifestyles. Student pharmacists also completed pre- and post-health education intervention surveys to measure change in self-perception of knowledge, confidence, and practice application of health-related topics and practice skills.

Results: Three-hundred and four elementary school children participated in the study with significant knowledge improvements observed in medication safety and tobacco prevention. Twenty-five student pharmacists completed surveys, resulting in a collective self-improvement in each area measured.

Conclusion: Interactive educational sessions led by student pharmacists have a positive impact on elementary school children’s knowledge. Student pharmacists also demonstrated professional growth through increased knowledge, confidence, and communication skills in interacting with pediatric populations.

Practice Implication: A co-curricular educational activity allowed student pharmacists to promote health and wellness to elementary students, a Healthy People 2020 goal, while also providing an opportunity to develop professional skills for future practice with pediatric patients.


Article Type: Original Research


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Received 2018-08-30
Accepted 2019-09-27
Published 2019-11-04
Community Engagement