Using consensus methods to develop a communication process assessment tool for Year one undergraduate pharmacy students in Great Britain

Mary Rhodes, Sarah C Willis, Douglas T Steinke, Jennifer Silverthorne


Introduction: Effective communication is important for delivering patient-centred care and has two components: content (what is said) and process (how it is said). However, assessing communication process is often overlooked. This paper describes the development of a tool for the assessment of communication process in Year one British undergraduate M.Pharm. students.

Description of innovation: Tool development involved three stages: initial construction (Stage 1); testing for inter-rater reliability then revising the tool using consensus methods (Stage 2); re-testing to determine inter-rater reliability and usability (Stage 3).

Evaluation: Inter-rater reliability improved following revision of the tool, with kappa score increasing from 0.065 (Stage 2) to 0.217 (Stage 3). Consensus meetings improved usability, face and content validity.

Future plans and Implementation: The tool can be adapted according to the learning outcomes being assessed, year of study, and communication scenario. Using it throughout the undergraduate programme has allowed for constructive alignment of teaching and assessment.


Counselling; Health Humanities; Interviewing; Patients’ Experiences; Self-Reflection

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