211724 Pharmaceuticals in drinking water: A pilot-tested online learning module

Monday, November 9, 2009

Guisou Zarbalian, MS, MPH , School of Public Health and Health Services, The George Washington University, Washington, DC
Stephanie Chalupka, EdD, PHNCNS-BC , Department of Nursing, Worcester State College, Worcester, MA
Karen A. McDonnell, PhD , Prevention and Community Health, George Washington University SPHHS, Washington, DC
Background: While drug compounds were first detected in drinking water decades ago, it is still unknown what (if any) ill effects are produced due to prolonged exposure to these compounds, especially in “at-risk” populations such as women and children. Objective: For pilot subjects to achieve at least 70% on post-test after completing an online module on pharmaceuticals in drinking water.

Methods: The course covered topics in basic environmental health principles and issues relating specifically to pharmaceuticals in drinking water. Ten undergraduate senior student nurses were recruited for pilot testing from the Department of Nursing at Worcester State College in Massachusetts. Results: Average scores at post-test reached 82% (82.3 +/- 5.1), compared to scores of 15% at pre-test (15.0 +/- 2.2). Results were found to be significant, as determined by a repeated measures t-test (p< 0.001). Conclusion: The course demonstrated a very real need in filling a knowledge gap among student nurses (as shown by pre-test and post-test scores); similar results are expected among licensed and practicing nurses once the course is launched nationally, as most nurses receive no educational training in environmental health issues.

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify safe and unsafe methods of drug disposal 2. Identify at least 3 specific reasons why drug compounds in drinking water are a public health concern.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have several years experience
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.