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Table 2 Comparison of the students’ self-assessed communication skills by category

From: The influence of a patient counseling training session on pharmacy students’ self-perceived communication skills, confidence levels, and attitudes about communication skills training

Category and contentsa Pre (n = 60) mean (SD) Post (n = 60) mean (SD) t p-value
Initiating the session
 Prepare yourself for the consultation 4.45 (1.48) 5.60 (0.99) −5.556 < 0.001
 Introduce yourself and welcome the patient 4.92 (1.45) 5.77 (1.03) −4.375 < 0.001
 Establish an initial rapport with the patient 4.68 (1.47) 5.48 (1.08) −3.892 < 0.001
 Identify the reason for the consultation 4.73 (1.33) 5.60 (1.01) −4.541 < 0.001
Gathering information
 Explore the patient’s issues through effective questioning and listening skills 4.82 (1.13) 5.53 (0.91) −4.441 < 0.001
 Obtain the patient’s perspective 4.77 (1.11) 5.42 (1.01) −3.660 0.001
 Use concise, easily understood questions and comments and avoid or adequately explain jargon 4.55 (1.24) 5.53 (1.16) −5.073 < 0.001
Explanation and planning
 Provide the correct type of information in an appropriate manner suitable for the patient 4.32 (1.02) 5.48 (0.89) −7.000 < 0.001
 Aid accurate recall and understanding 4.52 (1.08) 5.58 (0.87) −6.231 < 0.001
 Achieve a shared understanding, incorporating the patient’s perspective 4.55 (0.98) 5.38 (0.88) −5.275 < 0.001
 Develop an action plan that involves shared decision-making 4.30 (1.23) 5.15 (0.97) −4.703 < 0.001
Providing structure to the consultation
 Agree with the agenda 4.67 (1.20) 5.63 (0.88) −5.296 < 0.001
 Summarize and recall throughout the consultation to check understanding 4.75 (1.37) 5.77 (0.85) −5.131 < 0.001
 Use signposts and transitional statements to progress from one part of the consultation to the next 4.23 (1.23) 5.22 (1.06) −5.765 < 0.001
 Apply a logical structure 4.20 (1.25) 5.25 (1.14) −5.730 < 0.001
 Adhere to the time limit 4.65 (1.23) 5.18 (1.00) −2.862 0.006
Building a relationship
 Continue to build rapport throughout the consultation 4.90 (1.31) 5.53 (0.98) −3.332 0.001
 Show empathy 5.15 (1.34) 5.58 (1.12) −2.327 0.023
 Share in the discussion as a partnership 4.63 (1.30) 5.32 (1.05) −3.637 0.001
 Use open body language and appropriate eye contact 4.53 (1.35) 5.47 (1.03) −5.736 < 0.001
Closing the session
 Summarize the key ideas 4.83 (1.03) 5.33 (1.07) −2.774 0.007
 Make a final contract with the patient to agree with the action plan 4.65 (0.95) 5.37 (0.94) −4.541 < 0.001
 Establish contingency plans in case the plan does not proceed as designed (safety-netting) 4.20 (1.30) 5.22 (1.04) −4.859 < 0.001
 Asks if the patient has any questions or other items they would like to discuss 5.40 (1.30) 5.98 (0.93) −3.014 0.004
  1. SD standard deviation
  2. a7–point Likert scale for all items, pre and post (1 = very strongly disagree; 7 = very strongly agree)