Objective: The aims were to analyse Finnish pharmacy students' opinions of feedback given to them in patient counselling training during their internship period, and to evaluate the guidelines used.
Methods: The study was based on reports written by 136 students, analysed qualitatively. To examine the significance of the guidelines and the perceived quality of the feedback, students were categorised into groups. Correlations were assessed by frequencies and cross-tabulations.
Results: A statistically significant correlation was found (p<0.001) between the perceived quality of the feedback and the use of the guidelines. The relations between the perceived usefulness of the guidelines and the use of the guidelines in patient counselling exercises were also statistically significant (p=0.034).
Conclusions: The results indicate that the perceived quality of the feedback was indeed associated with the use of the guidelines. They not only offer a training method focusing on essential communication skills in patient counselling, but are also a useful tool for developing counselling practices in general.
Practical implications: Since mentors are probably unfamiliar with the guidelines, students should be trained to explain their use. To ensure that mentors are competent in analysing communication skills, further training for them is essential.