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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 48  |  Issue : 7  |  Page : 33-36

Role-play as an educational tool in medication communication skills: Students’ perspectives

Department of Pharmacology, BGSGIMS, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
S H Lavanya
Department of Pharmacology, BGSGIMS, Bengaluru, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0253-7613.193311

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Objectives: Medication communication skills are vital aspects of patient care that may influence treatment outcomes. However, traditional pharmacology curriculum deals with imparting factual information, with little emphasis on patient communication. The current study aims to explore students’ perceptions of role-play as an educational tool in acquiring communication skills and to ascertain the need of role-play for their future clinical practice. Materials and Methods: This questionnaire-based study was done in 2nd professional MBBS students. A consolidated concept of six training cases, focusing on major communication issues related to medication prescription in pharmacology, were developed for peer-role-play sessions for 2nd professional MBBS (n = 122) students. Structured scripts with specific emphasis on prescription medication communication and checklists for feedback were developed. Prevalidated questionnaires measured the quantitative aspects of role-plays in relation to their relevance as teaching–learning tool, perceived benefits of sessions, and their importance for future use. Statistical Analysis: Data analysis was performed using descriptive statistics. Results: The role-play concept was well appreciated and considered an effective means for acquiring medication communication skills. The structured feedback by peers and faculty was well received by many. Over 90% of the students reported immense confidence in communicating therapy details, namely, drug name, purpose, mechanism, dosing details, and precautions. Majority reported a better retention of pharmacology concepts and preferred more such sessions. Conclusions: Most students consider peer-role-play as an indispensable tool to acquire effective communication skills regarding drug therapy. By virtue of providing experiential learning opportunities and its feasibility of implementation, role-play sessions justify inclusion in undergraduate medical curricula. Key message: Peer-role play as a teaching learning method to teach medication-communication skills to undergraduate pharmacology students needs to be explored. Students' perspectives of the positive impact of these sessions in acquiring counselling skills may guide future educational interventions in this regard.


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