Promoting patient care through communication training in a pre-clerkship pharmacy education course in Japan

Denise A. Epp, Toshio Kubota, Motofumi Yoshida, Junji Kishimoto, Daisuke Kobayashi, Takao Shimazoe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Objective. The purpose of this study was to teach communication skills for patient care to pre-clerkship students and observe changes in student perspectives towards communication from pre- to post-training. Methods. Two cohorts of fourth-year pharmacy students completed an eight-week pre-clerkship training course designed to improve their communication skills. The course involved class discussions and in-class research of medications, practicing communication skills, learning to give science-based responses, and developing an awareness of patient education for lifestyle, self-medication, quality of life, and medication adherence. A comparison of students’ pre- and post-training responses to a questionnaire were used to assess changes in students' ability and confidence in communicating with patients. An exploratory factor analysis was used to analyze and compare the data results.  Results. Students’ mean post-training scores for perceived ability to make small talk and confidence to communicate with patients increased compared to pre-training scores. Based on the results of the exploratory factor analysis, the greatest increase in students’ scores was in the area of patient education skills.  Conclusion. The pre-clerkship communication training improved student understanding of the pharmacy communication skills needed to conduct effective patient education and pharmacist-patient interaction beyond dispensing, affirming the theory that specialized communication training before students’ begin a clerkship may be essential.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6745
Pages (from-to)814-823
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Pharmaceutical Education
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Pharmacy
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)


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