Essential diseases in prescribing: A national Delphi study towards a core curriculum in pharmacotherapy education

B. H. E. Jansen*, G. W. Disselhorst, T. Schutte, B. Jansen, R. Rissmann, M. C. Richir, C. J. P. W. Keijsers, F. H. M. Vanmolkot, A. Maassen van den Brink, C. Kramers, A. M. Vondeling, G. J. H. Dumont, I. de Waard-Siebinga, M. A. Van Agtmael, J. Tichelaar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


AimsPrescribing is a core skill for junior doctors, yet 8-10% of their prescriptions contain errors. To ensure adequate training in prescribing, it is important to define the diseases for which junior doctors should be competent to prescribe. The aim of the present study was therefore to identify the essential diseases in prescribing for junior doctors. MethodsA two-round Delphi consensus study was conducted among medical specialists, general practitioners, junior doctors, pharmacists and pharmacotherapy teachers from all eight academic hospitals in the Netherlands. Using a five-point Likert scale, the participants indicated for each item on an initial questionnaire whether it should be considered an essential disease for junior doctors. The items for which 80% of all respondents agreed or strongly agreed were accepted as essential diseases. ResultsSixty-two participants completed the Delphi survey. In total, 63 of 220 items were considered to be essential diseases. ConclusionThis is the first Delphi consensus study identifying exact conditions that junior doctors must be able to prescribe for. The essential diseases can be used for training in prescribing and assessment of junior doctors' prescribing competence.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2645-2650
Number of pages6
JournalBritish Journal of Clinical Pharmacology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2018


  • medical education
  • pharmacotherapy
  • prescribing


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