Objective: To assess communication skills training at Nordic pharmacy schools and explore ways for improvement.
Methods: E-mail questionnaires were developed and distributed with the aim to explore current practice and course leaders’ opinions regarding teaching of patient communication skills at all the 11 master level Nordic (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden) pharmacy schools. The questionnaires contained both closed- and open-ended questions.
Results: There was a variation of patient communication skills training among schools. In general, communication skills training was included in one to five courses (mode 1); varied in quantity (6-92 hours); had low use of experiential training methods; and had challenges regarding assessments and acquiring sufficient resources. However, some schools had more focus on such training.
Conclusion: The results show room for improvement in patient communication skills training in most Nordic pharmacy schools and give insights into how to enhance communication skill building in pharmacy curricula. Suggestions for improving the training include: early training start, evidence-based frameworks, experiential training, and scaffolding.