Using Role Play to Improve Communication Competence in Nursing Students

Thursday, 25 July 2013: 3:55 PM

Piyanut Xuto, PhD
Obstetric and Gynecology Nursing Department, Faculty of Nursing, ChiangMai Univeristy, ChiangMai, Thailand

Learning Objective 1: The learner will be able to learn the benefit from role play strategy in improving nursing education.

Learning Objective 2: The learner will be able to learn how to improve communication competence in nursing students.


 The objective of this quasi-experiment, waiting list controlled design, was to improve nursing and patient communication via role play strategy. 


 The participants comprised 161 of the fourth year undergraduate nursing students who had enrolled the midwifery practice, Nursing Faculty, Chiang Mai University from May to November 2012. Seven groups of each 23 subjects were rotated for four weeks practicing in postpartum ward.  Four group were randomly assigned role play intervention in the beginning of practice period while the three controlled group were received the intervention at the last week of practice period. The nursing patient communication questionnaire was validated with the content validity index of 1.0 and KR-21 was 0.78. The nursing patient communication questionnaire was tested before and after the intervention. After intervention, a questionnaire on satisfaction was completed. All subjects described their experience related to their communication and emotions during practice were recorded on one page at the third week of practice period. The data were analyzed with percentage, mean, standard deviation, and paired t-test.


The results showed that the role play strategy can improve the skill of nursing and patient communication. The mean score on the communication questionnaire after role play intervention significantly increased (p<.000). The satisfaction of using role play strategy in class was evaluated and found to range from good through excellent levels. In addition, the one-page reports showed the student nurse in intervention group can appropriate communicate to the patient with empathy and tolerance during practice in the ward than the waiting controlled group.

Conclusion:  When students act as a patient, they can see the situation from another point of view that increases their empathy and tolerance. Furthermore, using the role play strategy can improve their communication to the patient and also be applied to various situations during practice in the ward.