An innovative approach to teaching depression and anxiety medication management: Virtual choose your own adventure, psychiatry edition

Nina Vadiei, Jeannie K. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Introduction: Rates of depression and anxiety continue to increase in the United States. It’s important for pharmacy students to graduate knowledgeable and confident in treating these disorders. The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether a virtual active-learning exercise (choose your own adventure) is helpful in teaching students how to manage medications for depression and anxiety. Methods: Third-year pharmacy students responded to preactivity questions and then worked on a single patient case in which the presenting problem is worsening depression and anxiety. Students worked in virtual groups of 4 to 5 to select 1 treatment among 5 multiple-choice options and documented the rationale for their choice. Each multiple-choice option led to a different follow-up case. After writing their assessment and plan, the instructor debriefed on therapeutic concepts from each follow-up case. Students then answered postactivity questions and participated in a voluntary survey consisting of 10 retrospective questions. Results: Of 106 participants, 85 completed the survey (80.2% response rate). Most agreed that their understanding of treatment of depression and anxiety disorders increased following participation (92.9% strongly/somewhat agreed). This was supported by an increase in the percentage of correct responses on the knowledge questions (preactivity: 67.2%, n=91; postactivity: 83.5%, n=97; P=.01). Additionally, students reported their confidence in their understanding of depression and anxiety management increased following activity participation (93.0% strongly/somewhat agreed). Discussion: The virtual active-learning exercise improved student knowledge and confidence in managing depression and anxiety treatments. Educators teaching depression and anxiety pharmacotherapy may consider implementing such activity into their lecture(s).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)225-231
Number of pages7
JournalMental Health Clinician
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2022


  • anxiety
  • depression
  • medication
  • psychiatry
  • teaching
  • virtual

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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