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Digital literacy in undergraduate pharmacy education: a scoping review

Lookup NU author(s): Mashael Alowais, Georgie Rudd, Dr Hamde Nazar, Dr Tejal Shah, Dr Clare TolleyORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


ObjectivesConduct a scoping review to identify the approaches used to integrate digital literacy into undergraduate pharmacy programs across different countries, focusing on methods for education, training, and assessment.Materials and methodsFollowing the Joanna Briggs Institute methodology, we searched 5 electronic databases in June 2022: MEDLINE (Ovid), PubMed, Embase, Scopus, and CINAHL. Three independent reviewers screened all articles; data extraction was conducted by 2 reviewers. Any discrepancies were arbitrated by 2 additional reviewers.ResultsOut of 624 articles, 57 were included in this review. Educational and training approaches for digital literacy in undergraduate pharmacy programs encompassed a theoretical understanding of health informatics, familiarization with diverse digital technologies, and applied informatics in 2 domains: patient-centric care through digital technologies, and the utilization of digital technologies in interprofessional collaboration. Blended pedagogical strategies were commonly employed. Assessment approaches included patient plan development requiring digital information retrieval, critical appraisal of digital tools, live evaluations of telehealth skills, and quizzes and exams on health informatics concepts. External engagement with system developers, suppliers, and other institutes supported successful digital literacy education.Discussion and conclusionThis scoping review identifies various learning objectives, teaching, and assessment strategies to incorporate digital literacy in undergraduate pharmacy curricula. Recommendations include acknowledging the evolving digital health landscape, ensuring constructive alignment between learning objectives, teaching approach and assessments, co-development of digital literacy courses with stakeholders, and using standardized guidelines for reporting educational interventions. This study provides practical suggestions for enhancing digital literacy education in undergraduate pharmacy programs.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Mashael Alowais M, Rudd G, Besa V, Nazar H, Shah T, Tolley C

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association

Year: 2023

Issue: ePub ahead of Print

Online publication date: 05/12/2023

Acceptance date: 14/11/2023

Date deposited: 05/02/2024

ISSN (print): 1067-5027

ISSN (electronic): 1527-974X

Publisher: Oxford University Press


DOI: 10.1093/jamia/ocad223


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Funder referenceFunder name
Qassim University in Saudi Arabia
the Saudi Arabian Cultural Bureau in the United Kingdom