Faculty Articles


Assessment of Experiences and Impact of Hurricane Maria in Perceived Academic Performance of Student Pharmacists



Publication Title

American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education

Publication Date / Copyright Date



American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP)

DOI Number



Objective. To assess the self-reported impact of Hurricane Maria in the perceived academic performance among Nova Southeastern University’s (NSU) Puerto Rico Regional Campus student pharmacists.

Methods. A 37-item electronic Hurricane Impact Survey was created and sent by email to all student pharmacists ≥ 21 years old enrolled at NSU-COP Puerto Rico Campus during the Fall 2017 semester. The electronic survey was available through Redcap® platform during four-weeks. Descriptive statistics, bivariate analysis and logistic regression were used to analyze the responses. Qualitative analysis was used to identify emerging themes in the open-ended comments.

Results. More than 70% perceived that their academic performance was affected after the Hurricane. About one third of students reported not being able to function mentally at the same level as prior to the storm (n=53, 35%) and reported sleeping difficulties (n=54, 36%). Females were more likely to report not being able to function mentally at the same level as they did before the Hurricane than males (41% vs 17%). In the multivariate analysis the underclassmen (P1-P2) were more likely to perceive negative impact in their academic performance compared to upperclassmen. Lack of preparedness, gratefulness, and campus management were the themes that emerged from the qualitative analysis.

Conclusion. Hurricane Maria had a significant impact in the lives of student pharmacists in Puerto Rico. This led to a perception of diminished academic performance, especially among underclassmen. The results can be used to guide to preparedness and response to natural disasters in academic settings.


Medicine and Health Sciences | Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences


academic performance, Hurricane Maria, pharmacy school, Puerto Rico, students

Peer Reviewed

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