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Exploration of the effects of an innovative mentalization-based training on patientcentred communication skills of pharmacy staff: a video-observation study.

Schackmann, L., Copinga, M., Vervloet, M., Crutzen, S., Loon, E. van, Sterkenburg, P.S., Taxis, K., Dijk, L. van. Exploration of the effects of an innovative mentalization-based training on patientcentred communication skills of pharmacy staff: a video-observation study. Patient Education and Counseling: 2023, 114, Art. 107803
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Objective
To explore whether a mentalization-based communication training for pharmacy staff impacts their ability to elicit and recognize patients’ implicit and explicit medication related needs and concerns.

Methods
A single-arm intervention pilot study was conducted, in which pre-post video-recordings of pharmacy counter-conversations on dispensed-medication (N = 50 and N = 34, respectively; pharmacy staff: N = 22) were coded. Outcome measures included: detecting needs and concerns, and implicitly and explicitly eliciting and recognizing them. Descriptive statistics and a multi-level logistic regression were conducted. Excerpts of videos with needs or concerns were analyzed thematically on mentalizing attitude aspects.

Results
Indications show that patients more often express their concerns in an explicit way post-measurement, just as pharmacy staffs’ explicit recognition and elicitation of needs and concerns. This was not seen for patients’ needs. No statistically significant differences were found for determinants for detecting needs or concerns (i.e., measurement-, professional-type, or interaction). Differences in mentalizing attitude were observed between pre-post-measurements, e.g., more attention for patients.

Conclusion
This mentalizing training shows the potential of mentalizing to improve pharmacy staff members’ explicit elicitation and recognition of patients’ medication-related needs and concerns.

Practice Implications
The training seems promising for improving patient-oriented communication skills in pharmacy staff. Future studies should confirm this result.