Supported communication skills training: Evaluation of a pilot workshop for pharmacy undergraduates

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Objective: Healthcare professionals may lack the skills and confidence to support patients with communication impairments (Burns et al. , 2 0 1 2 ) . S u p p o r t e d communication skills training has been used to address this across a range of professions, including speech and language therapy (Finch et al., 2017) occupational therapy and physiotherapy students (Cameron et al., 2015). A pilot of supported communication skills training with pharmacy undergraduates was undertaken to evaluate the benefits and assess the value of incorporation into the University of East Anglia (UEA)’s M.Pharm. degree.Design: The training consisted of one taught session (two hours, covering components of healthcare communication, communication impairment and the knowledge, skills and resources which can support communication) followed by one practical training session (one hour, communicating with people with aphasia who are trained to train and provide feedback). All UEA pharmacy undergraduate students were invited to participate in the pilot training. A post-training evaluation form was distributed to all students immediately following the training, consisting of five 5-point Likert scale questions and three open questions.Results: Twelve students volunteered for the pilot, ten of whom completed the evaluation. Students were unanimously positive about the training, with all agreeing both training sessions were useful, that their knowledge and confidence in supporting people with communication impairment had increased and that they would recommend the training to their peers. Students particularly valued the experiential aspect of the training (e.g., “the amount of time we had and the variety of people we met. It changed my perspective a lot”) and shared how it had influenced their future practice (e.g., “I'll definitely be more understanding and won’t feel the need to rush them as they're speaking”).Conclusion: Our findings suggest this training can have the same positive impact on pharmacy undergraduates as it has with other healthcare professionals. As a result plans are in place to include it within UEA’s M.Pharm. degree.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Event10th Biennial Monash Pharmacy Education Symposium - Monash University, Prato, Italy
Duration: 7 Jul 201910 Jul 2019


Conference10th Biennial Monash Pharmacy Education Symposium
Internet address


  • Aphasia, Communication Skills, Empathy, Patients, Self Efficacy

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