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Top ten learning and CPD articles of 2020

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Top ten learning and CPD

Every year, we strive to provide pharmacists with high-quality learning and CPD resources, and this has never been more important than in 2020. This year, pharmacists across the UK had to diversify their skillsets to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Naturally, this desire for learning is reflected in our most-read articles of 2020, but it didn’t stop our readers from taking an interest in other topics too.

And in a range of formats too — from our peer-reviewed CPD articles that share the in-depth knowledge needed to manage conditions or treatments, to our case-study pieces looking at the scenarios pharmacists may face in both hospital and community settings.

We have some exciting content in the works for 2021, but in case you missed them the first time around, here are our most-read articles from 2020:

10. Case-based learning: anxiety disorders

There are many different types of anxiety disorders, and they affect approximately 6.6% of the population in England each week. This article helps pharmacists understand the treatment options available and how best to support patients with their condition.

9. Schizophrenia: recognition and management

Schizophrenia is a chronic psychotic illness. Medicines that are commonly used to manage schizophrenia can have significant adverse side effects. Pharmacists should be able to recognise the symptoms of schizophrenia and can improve patient outcomes by helping patients access appropriate advice and treatment.

8. Postnatal depression: recognition and diagnosis

Postnatal depression occurs in around 10–15% of women following childbirth, with maternal suicide accounting for 22% of maternal deaths reported in the UK. It is important that pharmacists can recognise the signs of postnatal depression and know how to refer patients for appropriate help and support to minimise the long-term effects of the condition on both mother and child.

7. Managing hypertension: the role of diet and exercise

Hypertension is asymptomatic in many patients; however, it is known to increase the risk of a variety of conditions, including heart attacks and stroke. This article details lifestyle changes that pharmacists can encourage patients to make to aid in the self-management of their condition.

6. Encouraging self-care and positive lifestyle changes in patients with depression

Depression can impact a person’s daily functioning. Self-care and positive lifestyle changes may have a role in improving or preventing depression. Pharmacists should be aware of advice they can provide patients on non-pharmacological interventions that may help with their condition.

5. Case-based learning: management of polycystic ovary syndrome

Around one in ten women in the UK are affected by polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Without proper management, PCOS can lead to a variety of complications, including infertility and cardiovascular disease. This article uses three case studies to illustrate the advice pharmacists can provide to patients regarding their medicines use and the management of their condition.

4. Schizophrenia case studies: putting theory into practice

Following on from number nine on this list, which focused on the recognition and management of schizophrenia, this article presents three case studies that highlight the management of schizophrenia in both hospital and community settings.

3. Community management of pneumonia and suspected COVID-19

Owing to overlapping symptoms, differentiating between pneumonia and COVID-19 can be challenging. This article highlights criteria that can help pharmacists distinguish between bacterial and COVID-19 viral pneumonia, as well as providing suggestions for how patients can be supported as they recover in the community.

2. Differential diagnosis: cold, flu or COVID-19?

Especially relevant during these cold winter months, it is vital that pharmacists are able to differentiate between colds, flu and COVID-19. This article highlights the range and onset of symptoms for the three conditions, and suggests questions that may help pharmacists stratify COVID-19 patients.

1. How to keep your community pharmacy running during the COVID-19 pandemic

Community pharmacists have been indispensable in the frontline fight against COVID-19. This article draws on the experience of community pharmacists and lays out tips on the implementation of guidance for best practice to ensure the continuing safety of both staff and patients.


Test yourself

Our peer-reviewed CPD articles have been designed to meet specific learning objectives relevant to clinical practice, and all feature an online assessment for you to test your knowledge. 

You can also test your knowledge in this year’s CPD and learning quiz.

All of our learning and CPD content is also available on the RPS MyCPD app.


If you have suggestions for topics that you would like us to cover in 2021, please email: Caitlin.Killen@rpharms.com 

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