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Int J Pharm Pract. 2012 Oct;20(5):307-19. doi: 10.1111/j.2042-7174.2012.00201.x. Epub 2012 Mar 13.

A systematic review of simulated-patient methods used in community pharmacy to assess the provision of non-prescription medicines.

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Faculty of Pharmacy, The University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.



To explore the use of simulated-patient methods in community pharmacy for non-prescription medicines.


The databases IPA (International Pharmaceutical Abstracts), EMBASE and MEDLINE were searched for articles published between 1990 and 2010 outlining studies using simulated-patient methods.


Thirty studies from 31 articles were reviewed. The majority used simulated-patient methods to purely assess counselling behaviour of pharmacy staff, rather than as an opportunity to provide educational feedback to improve counselling behaviour.


Few simulated-patient studies have incorporated performance feedback to encourage behavioural change and improve counselling skills. Studies that incorporated feedback did not provide sufficient detail, and few studies have explored participant perceptions. Additionally, very few studies have employed scenarios involving children's medicines. Future studies should test the feasibility of using the simulated-patient method, with appropriate performance feedback and describe participant perceptions of the value and acceptability of this training method.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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