Developing and validating a tool for assessment of pharmacist prescribers' consultations

Derek Stewart (Corresponding Author), Johnson George, Christine Bond, Lesley Diack, Jen Cleland, Dorothy McCaig, Scott Cunningham, Katie McClure, Sally Harkness

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Objective. To develop and validate an assessment tool, based on the ‘Royal College of General Practitioners’ (RCGP) Video Assessment Tool’, for assessment of pharmacist prescribers’ consultation skills.

Methods. Competency areas of the RCGP tool were left unchanged but performance criteria for each were modified to reflect pharmacist prescribing. Each criterion and the overall consultation were rated from 1 (poor) to 5 (excellent).

A purposive sample of 10 experienced prescribing pharmacists was selected. Each pharmacist identified, recruited and consented two patients. Video recordings of consultations were assessed independently by two randomly assigned GPs, experienced in the use of the RCGP tool, using the newly developed scale. Inter-rater reliability was assessed. Construct validity was assessed by comparing the assessor score with a patient satisfaction score. Spearman's rho was used to test the correlation between the two scores.

Results. The RCGP tool was modified to give the ‘Pharmacist Consultation Assessment Tool’ (PharmaCAT). The median overall PharmaCAT consultation rating was 3. There was good agreement between the two assessors for total scores (intraclass correlation coefficient = 0.694).

Fourteen (78%) patient satisfaction questionnaires were returned; most (n = 13, 93%) agreed/strongly agreed that they were entirely satisfied with the consultation. Correlations between average total scores on PharmaCAT and the patient satisfaction questionnaire were weak (Spearman's rho = 0.142 and 0.242 for both assessors).

Conclusions. The PharmaCAT has been tested in the pharmacist prescriber setting. The tool had discriminatory power across different domains and inter-rater reliability. The PharmaCAT has potential to be used as a formative and/or summative assessment tool.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)520-526
Number of pages7
JournalFamily Practice
Issue number5
Early online date7 Jun 2010
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2010


  • communication skills
  • consultation
  • pharmacy
  • prescribing


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