Using longitudinal mixed methods to study the development of professional behaviours during pharmacy work-based training

Samuel D Jee, Ellen Schafheutle, Peter Noyce

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Recent longitudinal investigations of professional socialisation and development of professional behaviours during work-based training are lacking. Using longitudinal mixed methods, this study aimed to explore the development of professional behaviours during a year of intensive work-based (pre-registration) training in pharmacy. Twenty trainee pharmacists and their tutors completed semi-structured interview and professional behaviour questionnaires at four time points during 2011/2012: months 1, 4 and 9 during training and 4 months after registration; tutors participated in months 1 and 9. Interviews were analysed thematically using template analysis, and questionnaires were analysed using ANOVA and t-tests. Self-assessed (trainee) and tutor ratings of all elements of professional behaviours measured in questionnaires (appearance, interpersonal/social skills, responsibility, communication skills) increased significantly from the start of pre-registration training to post-registration. Some elements, for example, communication skills, showed more change over time compared with others, such as appearance, and continued to improve post-registration. Qualitative findings highlighted the changing roles of trainees and learning experiences that appeared to facilitate the development of professional behaviours. Trainees’ colleagues, and particularly tutors, played an essential part in trainees’ development through offering support and role modelling. Trainees noted that they would have benefited from more responsibilities during training to ease the transition into practising as a responsible pharmacist. Longitudinal mixed methods can unpack the way in which professional behaviours develop during work-based training and allow researchers to examine changes in the demonstration of professional behaviours and how they occur. Identifying areas less prone to change allows for more focus to be given to supporting trainees in areas where there is a development need, such as communication skills and holding increasing responsibility.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)975
Number of pages986
JournalHealth and Social Care in the Community
Issue number3
Early online date6 Oct 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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