Supporting the acquisition of pharmacokinetic principles through the use of mathematically-based spread sheet models

Steven John Tucker, Heather Mann Wallace, Shelby Barnett

Research output: Contribution to conferencePoster

Abstract

Understanding what the body does to drugs is a discipline known as pharmacokinetics and is a mathematically-based approach to understanding and predicting dose, metabolism and drug excretion. As a critical, threshold concept embedded firmly within undergraduate and postgraduate pharmacology degree programmes, pharmacokinetics represents a genuine mathematically based challenge within the curriculum. The use of equations, graphs and data-modelling moves the student considerably outside their comfort zone and makes visualisation of the core pharmacological concepts and how they inter-relate difficult for even the most astute. Feedback from students would suggest that current approaches do not always make the links between the numbers and their clinical meaning and relevance obvious.

This project addressed these issues by developing a spread sheet-based resource, presenting students with data and graphs representing drug behaviour within the body. The meaning and derivation of key pharmacokinetic parameters is explained in simple terms illustrated with examples and presented in graphical form making the link between the numbers and their meaning less tacit. Furthermore, the spreadsheets are interactive with spot tests, quizzes and practical exercises included throughout. The hyperlinking of these numerous spreadsheets together creates an interactive, student friendly hierarchy for users to explore and develop their understanding in class or remotely, and at undergraduate or postgraduate level. Such flexibility, lends itself to the implementation of this instrument within a variety of teaching and learning contexts where mathematical concepts would be brought to life and into a more digestible, clinically relevant, pharmacological context.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 2014
EventHEA STEM Annual Conference: Enhancing the STEM student journey - Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: 30 Apr 20141 May 2014

Conference

ConferenceHEA STEM Annual Conference: Enhancing the STEM student journey
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityEdinburgh
Period30/04/141/05/14

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Supporting the acquisition of pharmacokinetic principles through the use of mathematically-based spread sheet models'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this