Hospital pharmacists’ and patients’ views about what constitutes effective communication between pharmacists and patients

Bernadette A.M. Chevalier, Bernadette M. Watson, Michael A. Barras, William N. Cottrell

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: The study's objective was to explore hospital pharmacists’ and patients’ views about what constitutes effective communication exchanges between pharmacists and patients. Methods: This was a novel theory-based qualitative study using semi-structured interviews to elicit patients’ and pharmacists’ perspectives. Pharmacists providing clinical pharmacy services in either inpatient or outpatient settings were recruited first. Eligible patients had been admitted to a study pharmacist's practice area and were prescribed three or more medications to manage a chronic disease(s). Following each pharmacist–patient medication counselling session, semi-structured interviews were held separately with patients and pharmacists. Participants were asked questions intended to explore their views about what constitutes an effective pharmacist–patient conversation. Audio recordings were transcribed verbatim, analysed using a process of inductive thematic analysis and then mapped to Communication Accommodation Theory strategies. Observational notes and reflexive note taking were conducted throughout. Key findings: Twelve pharmacists each engaged four individual patients for a total of 48 pharmacist–patient conversations (resulting in 48 separate interviews with pharmacists and patients). An overall shared goal was the assurance of patients’ confidence in managing their medications at home. Themes included shared colloquialisms/slang, well-explained information, engagement, established rapport and empowerment. Participants provided rich exemplars for each of the themes. Conclusions: Pharmacists and patients provided valuable insights about what makes pharmacist–patient interactions effective. Patient-identified preferences for pharmacist–patient exchanges may help guide pharmacy students and practitioners to engage patients in effective conversations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)450-457
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Pharmacy Practice
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018


  • communication
  • Communication Accommodation Theory
  • hospital pharmacist; patient

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacy
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Hospital pharmacists’ and patients’ views about what constitutes effective communication between pharmacists and patients'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this