REVIEW: Integrated simulation-based skills assessment for evaluating pharmacist competence: A scoping review


  • Hayley Alison Croft University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia
  • Beverley Glass James Cook University, QLD, Australia
  • Conor Gilligan University of Newcastle, NSW
  • Rohan Rasiah University of Western Australia, WA
  • Tracy Levett-Jones University of Technology, Sydney, NSW


Integrated Skills Assessment, Simulation, Health Professionals, Pharmacy


Background: Integrated assessment of health professional competence more closely represents performance of tasks in clinical practice, than assessment models that evaluate fragmented competencies. Simulation continues to expand the range of assessment methods available for training healthcare professionals, however, there is limited understanding of the potential use of integrated simulation-based assessments in pharmacy education.

Objective: To review the range of integrated simulation-based assessments used across the healthcare professions, and explore their applicability to pharmacy education.

Methods: Medline, International Pharmaceutical Abstracts (IPA), EMBASE, CINAHL, ERIC and Scopus were searched for articles in English published between January 1975 and May 2019, to identify studies that reported on the use of integrated simulation-based assessments in medicine, nursing, allied health and pharmacy.

Results: Searches identified 2, 440 records for screening; 59 full-text articles were screened for eligibility, with a total of 20 studies meeting the inclusion criteria for the review. The findings show evidence for a variety of simulation approaches to enable the evaluation of integrated competencies, however the validity and reliability of such approaches is less well documented. Most studies have been conducted in medicine, nursing and allied health with only two studies conducted in pharmacy. All studies used multidimensional assessment instruments but only fourteen were tested for reliability and validity.

Conclusion: Despite the limited number of published studies specifically pertaining to integrated simulation-based assessment in pharmacy, the current approach in other healthcare disciplines provides support for future application in pharmacy.

Author Biographies

Hayley Alison Croft, University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

School of Biomedical Sciences and Pharmacy, Faculty of Health and Medicine

Beverley Glass, James Cook University, QLD, Australia

Pharmacy, College of Medicine and Dentistry

Conor Gilligan, University of Newcastle, NSW

School of Medicine and Public Health, Faculty of Health and Medicine

Rohan Rasiah, University of Western Australia, WA

Western Australian Centre for Rural Health

Tracy Levett-Jones, University of Technology, Sydney, NSW

Faculty of Health 


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Research Article