Digital Learning to Improve Safe and Effective Prescribing: A Systematic Review

Michiel J. Bakkum*, Jelle Tichelaar, Anne Wellink, Milan C. Richir, Michiel A. van Agtmael

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review


With the aim to modernize and harmonize prescribing education, the European Association for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics (EACPT) Working Group on education recommended the extensive use and distribution of digital learning resources (DLRs). However, it is unclear whether the complex task of prescribing medicine can be taught digitally. Therefore, the aim of this review was to investigate the effect of diverse DLRs in clinical pharmacology and therapeutics education. Databases PubMed, EMBASE, CINAHL, ERIC, and CENTRAL were systematically searched. Sixty-five articles were included in the analyses. Direct effects on patients were studied, but not detected, in six articles. Skills and behavior were studied in 11 articles, 8 of which reported positive effects. Knowledge acquisition was investigated in 19 articles, all with positive effects. Qualitative analyses yielded 10 recommendations for the future development of DLRs. Digital learning is effective in teaching knowledge, attitudes, and skills associated with safe and effective prescribing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1236-1245
Number of pages10
JournalClinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019

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