Academic journal article American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education

Impact of Student vs Faculty Facilitators on Motivational Interviewing Student Outcomes

Academic journal article American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education

Impact of Student vs Faculty Facilitators on Motivational Interviewing Student Outcomes

Article excerpt


Patient-centered communication strategies are becoming increasingly important for pharmacists as the profession shifts to a more clinical role. With this increasing emphasis on clinical pharmacy, schools of pharmacy are seeking to prepare their students to better communicate with patients. The American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) and the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) have recognized the need to educate pharmacy students in effective patient communication skills. For example, in the 2013 CAPE educational outcomes, Standard 3.6.1 focuses on being able to communicate effectively with patients in a manner that empowers the patient to take control of their health.

One method that has shown efficacy in promoting positive health behaviors is motivational interviewing (MI). (3)" (5) Originating in chemical dependency counseling, MI is a patient-centered style of counseling that seeks to have the patient talk himself or herself into a change. (5) This is done through eliciting change talk from the patient and accessing the patient's motivation for making the change. (5,6) Four key components comprise all MI technique: expressing empathy, rolling with resistance, supporting self-efficacy, and developing discrepancy. (5) Overall, MI interactions are collaborative in nature and seek to honor the patient's autonomy. MI has been shown to be effective in promoting positive health behaviors (ie, weight reduction, blood pressure control, antiretroviral regimen adherence) and reducing maladaptive health behaviors (ie, chemical dependency). (3,4,6)

Not only has MI been shown effective in promoting positive health behaviors, but within health care education, MI has been shown to increase student confidence and their ability to engage in health behavior change counseling in multiple health care professions. (7,8) It also has been demonstrated effective at increasing student counseling abilities specifically within pharmacy education. (2,9) Based on the efficacy of MI in both patient encounters and student confidence, it is important to educate pharmacy students in this communication method. A variety of methods have been used to incorporate MI into the curriculum. Medical and pharmacy schools have used various pedagogies to teach MI principles and techniques, including lecture, interactive class activities, student role playing, and simulated patients. (7,8,10,11) Within curricular design, pharmacy schools have implemented MI education either as an elective or as a longitudinal exercise throughout the first three years of pharmacy school. (2,9)

When training students to use MI skills, it is not known whether student or faculty small-group facilitators are equally effective in training students on MI skills. The purpose of this project is to compare the efficacy of student and faculty small-group facilitators in achieving the desired outcomes. If students are equally effective, this will reduce faculty burden associated with MI education while providing additional educational and leadership opportunities for student facilitators. Student facilitators would not only be strengthening their MI skills during this process but also would be modeling leadership to cohorts behind them.

The purpose of this study was to compare the efficacy of faculty and student small group facilitators by examining changes in student attitude toward MI, confidence in using MI techniques, perceived competence in MI skills, and measured competence in using MI techniques after educational sessions led by faculty or students.


This study utilized a randomized pre-test/post-test/retrospective group design to compare the efficacy of facilitator type in MI education. This study was approved under exempt status by the Institutional Review Board at Cedarville University.

In May 2013, all pharmacy faculty members and several pharmacy students working on summer research projects participated in a two-day MI training seminar. …

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