Use of an auditory hallucination simulation to increase student pharmacist empathy for patients with mental illness

Elizabeth T. Skoy, Heidi N. Eukel, Jeanne E. Frenzel, Amy Werremeyer, Becky McDaniel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Objective. To increase student pharmacist empathy through the use of an auditory hallucination simulation. Design. Third-year professional pharmacy students independently completed seven stations requiring skills such as communication, following directions, reading comprehension, and cognition while listening to an audio recording simulating what one experiencing auditory hallucinations may hear. Following the simulation, students participated in a faculty-led debriefing and completed a written reflection. Assessment. The Kiersma-Chen Empathy Scale was completed by each student before and after the simulation to measure changes in empathy. The written reflections were read and qualitatively analyzed. Empathy scores increased significantly after the simulation. Qualitative analysis showed students most frequently reported feeling distracted and frustrated. All student participants recommended the simulation be offered to other student pharmacists, and 99% felt the simulation would impact their future careers. Conclusions. With approximately 10 million adult Americans suffering from serious mental illness, it is important for pharmacy educators to prepare students to provide adequate patient care to this population. This auditory hallucination simulation increased student pharmacist empathy for patients with mental illness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number142
JournalAmerican journal of pharmaceutical education
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Empathy
  • Mental illness
  • Pharmaceutical care laboratory
  • Simulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)

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