Qualitative Thematic Analysis of Pharmacy Student Blogs for International Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences

Stephanie Coghill, Valarie D Chaffee, Melody Ryan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective. The primary objective of this study is to gain an understanding of student pharmacist learning occurring during international advanced pharmacy practice experiences (APPEs). The secondary objective is to direct the development of suitable pre-departure orientation activities for pharmacy students.

Methods. University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy students authored blogs between 2012 and 2019 describing patient-care and non-patient care international APPEs. Investigators utilized inductive thematic analysis to analyze the blogs and define codes, categories, and themes from the data set. The entire data set was utilized to generate changes for pre-departure orientation.

Results. The analysis included 47 blogs from which seven pictorial codes and 24 text codes were isolated from the data set to ultimately form four categories: Learning About Health care; My Surroundings; Logistics; and Me, Myself, and I. Two overall themes emerged from the codes and categories: Everything is Different and Here’s What I Think and Feel. Examination of the data in conjunction with review of other studies focusing on study abroad demonstrated that the themes isolated in this study parallel previously described benefits of study abroad. Additionally, analysis of the blogs suggested expansion of pre-departure orientation for students and follow-up discussion to ensure understanding may be required prior to travel.

Conclusion: This study gives a unique insight into thoughts and relative importance of pharmacy student experiences during study abroad. Evaluation of the data and review of previously published studies will guide educators in refining pre-departure material. Further studies are needed to evaluate the effectiveness of revised pre-departure orientation.
Original languageAmerican English
Article number8673
JournalAmerican Journal of Pharmaceutical Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2022


  • global health
  • international
  • advanced pharmacy practice experiences
  • Blog
  • qualitative methodology


Dive into the research topics of 'Qualitative Thematic Analysis of Pharmacy Student Blogs for International Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this