Open Access Open Badges Research article

Validating e-learning in continuing pharmacy education: user acceptance and knowledge change

Krzysztof Nesterowicz1*, Tadeusz Librowski1 and Samuel Edelbring2

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Radioligands, Jagiellonian University, Medical College, Faculty of Pharmacy, Medyczna 9 Street, Krakow 30-688, Poland

2 Department of Learning, Informatics, Management and Ethics, Karolinska Institutet, Tomtebodavägen 18A, Stockholm 171 77, Sweden

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Medical Education 2014, 14:33  doi:10.1186/1472-6920-14-33

Published: 15 February 2014



Continuing pharmacy education is becoming mandatory in most countries in order to keep the professional license valid. Increasing number of pharmacists are now using e-learning as part of their continuing education. Consequently, the increasing popularity of this method of education calls for standardization and validation practices. The conducted research explored validation aspects of e-learning in terms of knowledge increase and user acceptance.


Two e-courses were conducted as e-based continuing pharmacy education for graduated pharmacists. Knowledge increase and user acceptance were the two outcome measured. The change of knowledge in the first e-course was measured by a pre- and post-test and results analysed by the Wilcoxon signed–rank test. The acceptance of e-learning in the second e-course was investigated by a questionnaire and the results analysed using descriptive statistics.


Results showed that knowledge increased significantly (p < 0.001) by 16 pp after participation in the first e-course. Among the participants who responded to the survey in the second course, 92% stated that e-courses were effective and 91% stated that they enjoyed the course.


The study shows that e-learning is a viable medium of conducting continuing pharmacy education; e-learning is effective in increasing knowledge and highly accepted by pharmacists from various working environments such as community and hospital pharmacies, faculties of pharmacy or wholesales.

E-learning; Continuing pharmacy education; Lifelong learning; Just-in-time learning