Canadian Pharmacy Practice Residents’ Projects: Publication Rates and Study Characteristics
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BACKGROUND: Research projects are a key component of pharmacy residents' education. Projects represent both a large investment of effort for each resident (up to 10 weeks over the residency year) and a large body of research (given that there are currently over 150 residency positions in Canada annually). Publication of results is a vital part of the dissemination of information gleaned from these projects. OBJECTIVES: To determine the publication rate for research projects performed under the auspices of accredited English-language hospital pharmacy residency programs in Canada and to describe the study characteristics of residency projects performed in Ontario from 1999/2000 to 2008/2009. METHODS: Lists of residents and project titles for the period of interest were obtained from residency coordinators. PubMed, CINAHL, the Canadian Journal of Hospital Pharmacy, and Google were searched for evidence of publication of each project identified, as an abstract or presentation at a meeting, a letter to the editor, or a full-text manuscript. The library holdings of the University of Toronto were reviewed to determine study characteristics of the Ontario residency projects. RESULTS: For the objective of this study relating to publication rate, 518 projects were included. The overall publication rate was 32.2% (60 [35.9%] as abstracts and 107 [64.1%] as full-text manuscripts). Publication in pharmacy-specific journals (66 [61.7%] of 107 full-text manuscripts) was more frequent than publication in non-pharmacy-specific journals. The publication rate of projects as full-text manuscripts remained stable over time. Of the 202 Ontario residency projects archived in the University of Toronto's library, most were cohort studies (83 [41.1%]), and the most common topic was efficacy and/or safety of a medication (46 [22.8%]). CONCLUSIONS: Most hospital pharmacy residents' projects were unpublished, and the publication rate of projects as full-text manuscripts has not increased over time. Most projects were observational studies. Increasing publication rates and creating a central database or repository of residency projects would increase the dissemination and accessibility of residents' research.
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