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Virtual patient educational programme to teach counselling to clinical pharmacists: development and proof of concept

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Charlotte RichardsonORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).


Pharmacist–patient counselling can benefit patients and optimise care, but appropriate training is required. A virtual patient (VP) tool to teach pharmacists non-vitamin K oral anticoagulant counselling was developed; the VP may be used for continuing professional development. The objective was to develop and show proof of concept of the VP. A cyclic development approach was adopted whereby the client, developers and a steering group informed VP design, content and aesthetic. This included formal and informal evaluation; ethical approval was not required. The VP received varied feedback. Positive feedback concerned the technology and the high standard of animations. Negative elements concerned international VP use and differences in practice, also technological comments, regarding VP delivery and usability on various electronic devices. The VP was reported to be ’valuable’ and realistic with high-quality animations. The steering group commented on VP’s clinical appropriateness, cultural relevance and usability. Areas highlighted for improvement were rectified during development, including the incorporation of printable feedback. European considerations concerned differences in culture and practice. The development process successfully developed the VP and the proof of the concept was demonstrated. This will inform future VP development; a large-scale VP evaluation is underway.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Richardson CL, Chapman S, White S

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: BMJ Simulation & Technology Enhanced Learning

Year: 2019

Volume: 5

Issue: 3

Pages: 167-169

Print publication date: 01/07/2019

Online publication date: 15/06/2018

Acceptance date: 21/05/2018

Date deposited: 12/11/2019

ISSN (electronic): 2056-6697

Publisher: BMJ Publishing Group


DOI: 10.1136/bmjstel-2018-000352


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