Active Learning in a Geriatrics Pharmacotherapy Course: Outcomes Associated with a Diaper Experience Exercise


Eric Boyce: 0000-0002-5447-9016

Document Type


Conference Title/Conference Publication

American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy


San Diego, CA

Conference Dates

July 8-12, 2006

Date of Presentation



Objectives: To evaluate the acceptance and effects of a novel active learning exercise. Methods: Fifty-five third-year pharmacy students were enrolled in a required geriatrics pharmacotherapy course. Two lectures were developed to teach students about urinary and fecal incontinence in older adults. Learning objectives for these lectures included students being able to describe, compare, and contrast the clinical features of incontinence; describe common pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic treatment options for incontinence; and, discuss the impact of incontinence on patients. A voluntary active learning exercise that involved students wearing an adult diaper throughout a day of classes (“Diaper Experience”) and then writing a paper reflecting on the experience was created. The responses of participating students were recorded. In addition, student performance on quiz and test questions related to incontinence were examined. Results: Seventeen of 55 students participated in the Diaper Experience exercise. Despite noting the unfamiliarity and physical challenges associated with wearing an adult diaper, all students reported the exercise as worthwhile and providing them with insight into incontinence. Students most commonly noted the negative impact of diapers on quality of life and the need for more effective pharmacologic treatment options. The relationship between participation in the active learning exercise and performance on incontinence-related test questions will be discussed. Implications: The Diaper Experience was well received by students, was reported by students to increase their insight into incontinence, and has the potential to enhance test performance.

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