Koninklijke Nederlandse Maatschappij ter Bevordering der Pharmacie
Pharmacy world & science
Objective: To design and evaluate a tool to assess communication skills at various points of the pharmacy curriculum.
Method: A 10-item assessment tool was constructed from cases reported by community pharmacists. For each case, three response categories rating poor, acceptable and good communication skills were defined. The questionnaire was evaluated by a group of community pharmacists and used to investigate communication skills of pharmacy students at different training levels. Multivariate statistics were used to analyze the data.
Results: (A) Analysis of the cases reported by community pharmacists led to the identification of five core communication domains that were used to construct a case-based assessment tool. (B) Community pharmacists evaluated the tool (i.e. both the cases and the associated response) as appropriate and relevant to pharmacy practice. (C) A significant difference in assessment scores was found between the training levels tested, with first year master students, taking a communications training, performing best.
Conclusion: The assessment tool contains relevant items and allows mapping of differences in communication skills between training levels. Further validation of this instrument is needed, as well as the development of a more extensive assessment method for communication skills in pharmacy practice.