RESEARCH ARTICLE: Involved stakeholders or voiceless backseat drivers: Volunteer patients’ experiences and perceptions of undergraduate pharmacy education




Education, Patient participation, Person-centered care, Qualitative research, Volunteer patients


Objective: The shift towards patient-centred care is a driver for increasing stakeholder involvement in the education of health professionals. This study explores volunteer patients’ perceptions and experiences of being involved in undergraduate pharmacy education.   

Methods: Three focus groups were held with volunteer patients.  The focus groups were analysed using thematic analysis.  

Results: There were four themes identified: organisational restrictions, impact on students, motivators and experience of being a volunteer patient. The patients perceived their value to be in bringing authentic patient experience to the students especially when they could share their own narrative as opposed a pre-prepared scenario. There was a desire for greater interaction and partnership.    

Conclusion:  The patients perceive themselves having a vital role in the training future pharmacists.  Their experience has been mainly positive but more needs to be done to involve them as stakeholders whose voice is listened to in the education of students.

Author Biographies

Laura Lindsey, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom

Lecturer in Pharmacy Practice, School of Pharmacy

Charlotte Lucy Richardson, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom

Lecturer in Pharmacy Practice and Work-based Learning, School of Pharmacy


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How to Cite

Lindsey, L., & Richardson, C. L. (2021). RESEARCH ARTICLE: Involved stakeholders or voiceless backseat drivers: Volunteer patients’ experiences and perceptions of undergraduate pharmacy education. Pharmacy Education, 21, p. 597–603.



Research Article