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Enhancing generational change in patient safety attitudes through peer leadership
  1. Ramesh L Walpola1,
  2. Romano A Fois1,
  3. Andrew J McLachlan1,2,
  4. Timothy F Chen1
  1. 1Faculty of Pharmacy, The University of Sydney, Camperdown, New South Wales, Australia
  2. 2Centre for Education and Research on Ageing, Concord Repatriation General Hospital, Concord, New South Wales, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Ramesh L Walpola, Faculty of Pharmacy, Pharmacy & Bank Building (A15), The University of Sydney, Camperdown, NSW 2006, Australia; ramesh.walpola{at}


Background Despite peer-led teaching demonstrating benefits in patient safety education, few studies have evaluated these programmes from the perspective of peer leaders.

Objective To evaluate the impact of peer leader participation in a patient safety education workshop in improving their patient safety attitudes.

Participants 34 final year pharmacy student peer leaders.

Methods An interactive peer-led patient safety workshop was delivered to 249 first year pharmacy students. Peer leaders' attitudes were assessed 2 months prior to and immediately after peer leader training; and immediately after and 1 month following the workshop. Using a validated patient safety attitudinal survey, repeated measures analysis of variance and pairwise comparisons were used to evaluate changes in four key attitudes over time: being quality improvement focused; internalising errors; questioning more senior healthcare professionals' behaviours; and attitudes towards the open disclosure of errors.

Results Compared to baseline, peer leaders' attitudes towards open disclosure significantly improved immediately following the workshop (p=0.010) and were sustained after 1 month (p=0.028). Attitudes towards being quality improvement focused also improved significantly 1 month after the workshop (p=0.003).

Conclusions Participation in a peer-led patient safety education programme benefits both students and peer leaders, enabling further mastery of concepts and enhancing generational change in patient safety practices.

  • Patient safety
  • undergraduate education
  • pharmacy
  • professional education

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