The development of a marker system for Pharmacists' Behavioural Skills

Samantha Eve Smith (Lead / Corresponding author), Joanne Kerins, Scott Mccolgan-Smith, Fiona Stewart, Ailsa Power, Julie Mardon, Victoria Ruth Tallentire

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Objectives: Pharmacists increasingly require complex behavioural skills to fulfil enhanced roles within healthcare teams. Behavioural marker systems are used to assess behavioural (or non-technical) skills during immersive simulation. This study aimed to develop a marker system for pharmacists' behavioural skills in patient-focussed care scenarios, and to investigate its content validity. 

Methods: Literature describing existing marker systems and the requisite behavioural skills of pharmacists were presented to two expert panels, alongside video examples of pharmacists in patient-focussed care simulations. The expert panels used this information to develop a new behavioural marker system. A third expert panel assessed the content validity, and the item- and scale-content validity indices were calculated. 

Key findings: The resulting tool contains four categories, each with three or four skill elements: situation awareness (gathering information; recognising and understanding information; anticipating, preparing and planning), decision-making and prioritisation (identifying options; prioritising; dealing with uncertainty; implementing or reviewing decisions), collaborative working (involving the patient; information sharing; leadership or followership), self-awareness (role awareness; speaking up; escalating care; coping with stress). The scale-content validity index was 0.95 (ideal) and the only item below the acceptable cut-off was 'leadership or followership' (0.7). 

Conclusions: This tool is the first marker system designed to assess the behavioural skills of pharmacists in patient-focussed care scenarios. There is evidence of good content validity. It is hoped that once validated, the Pharmacists' Behavioural Skills marker system will enable pharmacy educators to provide individualised and meaningful feedback on simulation participants' behavioural skills.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)520-527
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Pharmacy Practice
Issue number5
Early online date15 Jul 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2023


  • CPD
  • education
  • professional training
  • teaching methods

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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