Standardized patients in pharmacy education: an integrative literature review

Smithson, John, Bellingan, Michelle, Glass, Beverley, and Mills, Jane (2015) Standardized patients in pharmacy education: an integrative literature review. Currents in Pharmacy Teaching and Learning, 7 (6). pp. 851-863.

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Background: The value of standardized patients in undergraduate health-related education is recognized broadly in the literature as it can improve patient safety, provides a nexus between theory and practice, can supplement limited placement experiences, and improves work readiness of graduates.

Aim: This integrated review examines the evidence for the use of standardized patients as a teaching strategy in pharmacy education programs that prepare the graduate for initial registration as a pharmacist.

Method: A systematic search of Scopus, CINHAL, PubMed, ProQuest, Science Direct, Medline, A+ Education, and ERIC of 2000−2013 was conducted, revealing 27 articles for inclusion into this review. Suitable articles were systematically analyzed to identify relevant data for this review.

Results: Four themes relating to the use of standardized patients have emerged from the literature: student satisfaction, effectiveness to confer knowledge, skills and interprofessional practices, and its use in assessment and the cost of the educational intervention. Findings from this review show student acceptance for standardized patients as a teaching strategy, benefit for the technique in imparting knowledge and skills related to pharmacy, evidence to support the notion of standardized patients as a valid and reliable assessment tool and cost as a commonly identified barrier to the use of the teaching strategy.

Conclusion: The use of standardized patients in pharmacy education is increasing. Standardized patients have been used to develop the essential knowledge, clinical skills, and professional attributes required for practice. Gaps in knowledge around transferability, scalability, and cost benefit of this technique still exist, and there is a need for pharmacy educators to address these gaps to justify this resource-intensive teaching method.

Item ID: 41243
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1877-1300
Keywords: patient simulation; standardized patient; simulated patient; models educational; pharmacy; education
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© 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (

Date Deposited: 11 Nov 2015 02:21
FoR Codes: 13 EDUCATION > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy > 130209 Medicine, Nursing and Health Curriculum and Pedagogy @ 100%
SEO Codes: 93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9302 Teaching and Instruction > 930299 Teaching and Instruction not elsewhere classified @ 50%
93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9301 Learner and Learning > 930199 Learner and Learning not elsewhere classified @ 50%
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