Health literacy: Use of the Four Habits Model to improve student pharmacists' communication

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Patient Education and Counseling


Objective: To assess whether student pharmacists' communication skills improved using the Four Habits Model (FHM) at the St. Louis College of Pharmacy. Methods: During the Fall of 2009 and 2010, student pharmacists in the third professional year learned and practiced the FHM. They were given feedback by faculty on three of the four Habits, used the FHM for self and peer assessment, and were formally evaluated on all four Habits during a standardized patient encounter. Results: Student pharmacist performance significantly improved from baseline during both Fall 2009 and Fall 2010 in the majority of the Habits assessed. Conclusion: Use of the FHM in pharmacy education can improve a student pharmacists' ability to display the four Habits of communicating and developing relationships with patients. Tailoring of the FHM to pharmacy encounters will further enhance the utility of this communication framework. Practice implications: Use of the FHM enhances the measurement and assessment of the relational aspects of student pharmacist-patient communication skills. Consistent use of the FHM over time is likely necessary to fully develop and retain communication skills. The overall goal is to improve patient's health literacy and appropriate medication use by improving communication and the pharmacist-patient relationship. © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

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