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   2012| July  | Volume 25 | Issue 1  
    Online since July 30, 2012

 
 
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ORIGINAL RESEARCH PAPERS
The Use of Human Patient Simulators to Enhance Clinical Decision-making of Nursing Students
S Powell-Laney, C Keen, K Hall
July 2012, 25(1):11-15
DOI:10.4103/1357-6283.99201  PMID:23787379
Introduction: One of the newest teaching modalities in health education is the use of human patient simulators (HPS). A simulation scenario creates a software program vignette in which nursing, medical, and other students interact with a manikin to practice caring for patients in a risk-free environment. Although used extensively in schools of nursing, there is little research that examines if these expensive simulators improve the clinical decision-making ability of nursing students. The purpose of this quasi-experimental differentiated treatment study was to assess if HPS technology leads to greater clinical decision-making ability and clinical performance compared to the teaching modality of a paper and pencil case study. Methods: Students (n = 133) learning about the care of a patient with a myocardial infarction at four licensed practical nursing programs (LPN) in Pennysylvania, USA were randomly assigned to one of two groups at each site: an HPS simulation group or a paper and pencil case study group. One-tailed, independent t-tests were used to compare learning gains measured by differences in pre- and postclinical decision-making exam scores and clinical performance. Results: Results indicated that students in the simulation groups were significantly more likely to score higher on the clinical decision-making exams and to respond clinically by performing CPR more quickly on the manikin than students in the case study groups. On the 100-point exam, the simulation groups had a 20-point gain, while the case study groups had a 12-point gain (P < 0.001). Students in the simulation groups provided CPR to a manikin 30 seconds faster, on an average (P < 0.001). Discussion: Results validate the use of HPS technology in nursing education. Ultimately patients may benefit from increased knowledge and speed of care from practical nurses whose training was improved through the use of HPS technology.
  3,943 1,164 11
BRIEF COMMUNICATIONS
Experiences of Persons with Type II Diabetes Receiving Health Coaching: An Exploratory Qualitative Study
LM Howard, BF Hagen
July 2012, 25(1):66-69
DOI:10.4103/1357-6283.99210  PMID:23787387
Objective: The objective of this exploratory qualitative study was to examine the experience of persons living with type II diabetes who participated in a health coaching intervention. Methods: The researchers used a qualitative phenomenological hermeneutic research design to explore the experiences of people undergoing health coaching for self-management of their diabetes. Results: Qualitative data analysis resulted in three themes that best described participants' experience of health coaching for diabetes: (1) "the driving force," which described how health coaches helped clients to find powerful motivators for change; (2) "I'm not a child," which described how people wanted to be treated by the health coaches; and (3) "meeting the inner coach," which described how health coaches helped clients develop their own inner wisdom. Discussion: The participants' descriptions of coaching challenge a more traditional paradigm of expert-driven and information-laden diabetes education practices. The findings suggest that the process of health coaching may help persons with diabetes become confident self-managers of their diabetes.
  3,963 928 4
ORIGINAL RESEARCH PAPERS
Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students in Health Professional Programs: An Exploration of Concerns and Needs
C Gilligan, S Outram
July 2012, 25(1):40-47
DOI:10.4103/1357-6283.99205  PMID:23787383
Introduction: Cultural diversity among students in tertiary institutions in Australia and globally has increased rapidly in the last decade, and is continuing to do so. Methods: Focus groups were held at the University of Newcastle, NSW to: (1) examine the specific needs of international students in the Master of Pharmacy, Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Nursing programs in relation to language and cultural considerations and (2) to understand the attitudes of domestic students to the cultural issues faced among their peers. The project explored these issues with the intention to inform curricula changes to accommodate the needs of culturally and linguistically diverse students. Results: The key themes emerging from international students were: difficulties in spoken language, differences in professional roles and expectations, differences in methods of learning, inadequate social interaction outside the classroom and acceptance of differences in cultural and religious practices. The domestic student views reinforced the comments from international students both in regard to social interaction and in regard to participation in class discussions. Although local students were interested in learning from international students about their culture and religious beliefs, there were limited initiatives from both sides. Discussion: There is a need for tertiary institutions that benefit economically from increasing the numbers of international students to help them to study and live in a new environment. Assistance needs to go beyond learning the English language to helping students understand its use in a professional context (health terminology and slang used by patients), the nuances of the health professional disciplines in a western society, the approach to study and problem-based learning styles and skills to assist with social interaction. The results of the present exploration have led to a series of proposed actions for the University of Newcastle. These recommendations are applicable to any "Western" teaching institution with a large number of international students from developing countries enrolled in their health programs.
  3,224 660 9
Competence for Internship: Perceptions of Final-Year Medical Students
CE Draper, GJ Louw
July 2012, 25(1):16-23
DOI:10.4103/1357-6283.99202  PMID:23787380
Context: A 'new', problem-based medical curriculum was introduced at the University of Cape Town (UCT) in 2002. The objective of this study was to assess the perceptions of competence for internship and the factors influencing competence of final-year medical students. Methods: Eighteen focus groups were conducted (six per year) with UCT final-year medical students in 2007 (n =27), 2008 (n =27), and 2009 (n =30). Guide questions covered student's expectations of internship, perceptions of competence, priorities regarding competence, and factors influencing competence. Results: Participants felt generally positive about and competent to enter internship, and the transition into internship was characterized as having both personal and professional components. Participants identified interpersonal skills, theoretical grounding, and intellectual ability as strengths, and lack of basic science knowledge and certain procedural skills as weaknesses. Factors influencing competence included personal initiative, motivation, and clinical exposure. Curriculum strengths identified were teaching of interpersonal skills and development of students as lifelong learners. The main weaknesses identified were teaching and assessment of basic sciences, and problem-based learning (PBL). Overall, the participants felt generally positive about internship and the 'new' curriculum, and felt generally competent to enter internship. Their responses highlight the role of confidence in the development of competence. Conclusions: These findings highlight the complexities surrounding perceptions of students about competence and views about the content and methodology of the learning. Perceptions of students regarding competence are an important indicator of the attainment of intended curriculum outcomes, and provide valuable information for the improvement of curriculum.
  3,204 632 4
A Social and Academic Enrichment Program Promotes Medical School Matriculation and Graduation for Disadvantaged Students
L Keith, D Hollar
July 2012, 25(1):55-63
DOI:10.4103/1357-6283.99208  PMID:23787385
Introduction: This study assessed the impact of a pre-medical pipeline program on successful completion of medical school and the capacity of this program to address achievement gaps experienced by disadvantaged students. The University of North Carolina (USA) Medical Education Development (MED) program provides intensive academic and test skills preparation for admission to medical, dental, and other allied health professions schools. Methods: This retrospective study evaluated the academic progress of a longitudinal sample of 1738 disadvantaged college students who completed MED between 1974 and 2001. Data sources included MED participant data, medical school admissions data for the host school, aggregate data from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), and individual MED participant data from AAMC. Methods of analysis utilized Chi-square, independent samples t test, and logistic regression to examine associations between factors. Results: Of the 935 students in MED from 1974 to 2001, who had indicated an interest in medical school, 887 (94.9%) successfully matriculated and 801 (85.7%) successfully earned the MD degree. Using logistic regression, factors that were significantly correlated with earning the medical degree included the student's race, college undergraduate total and science grade point averages, with Hispanic, African American, and Native American participants earning the medical degree at rates comparable to Caucasian participants. MED students successfully earned the MD degree despite having significantly lower Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) scores and undergraduate grade point averages compared to all United States medical school applicants: MCAT scores had little relationship with student's success. Conclusions: These findings suggest that an intensive, nine-week, pre-medical academic enrichment program that incorporates confidence-building and small-group tutoring and peer support activities can build a foundation on which disadvantaged students can successfully earn matriculation to and graduation from medical school.
  3,175 585 6
Doctor - patient Communication Issues for International Medical Graduates: Research Findings From Australia
P McGrath, D Henderson, J Tamargo, HA Holewa
July 2012, 25(1):48-54
DOI:10.4103/1357-6283.99206  PMID:23787384
Introduction: Understanding the impact of culture on medical communication is particularly important for international medical graduates (IMGs) who enter health systems from different cultures of origin. This article presents data on IMGs' perception of the impact of cultural factors on IMG doctor−patient communication during their integration into the Australian health system. Methods: The methodology used was a descriptive qualitative methodology, using iterative, open-ended, in-depth interviews with a sample of 30 IMGs employed at a hospital in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. Results: According to subjects' comments, understanding patient-centered communication is a major challenge faced by IMGs during integration in the Australian health system. They perceive that this difficulty is associated with the major shift from the culture of their country of origin (described as paternalistic doctor-dominated communication system; standard practice to talk to the family and not the patient) to the very different health care culture of Australia (perceived to be more educated and informed consumers that demand high levels of information and discussion). The findings detail IMGs' experience with learning about patient-centered communication at the point of arrival, during integration and practice. Subjects' perceived the need to provide education on patient-centered communication for IMGs integrating into the Australian health system. Conclusion: There is a significant need for IMGs to be educated in cultural issues including doctor−patient communication practices in Australia.
  3,156 582 10
Teaching Women's Health from a Public Health Perspective: Development of an Innovative Undergraduate Course
CA Vamos, AR Richman, S Noel-Thomas, EM Daley
July 2012, 25(1):4-10
DOI:10.4103/1357-6283.99192  PMID:23787378
Introduction: A review of women's health courses across academic disciplines revealed gaps in addressing the full range of issues that impact women throughout the lifespan. Methods: We designed an undergraduate course in women's health that is taught from a public health perspective, but includes a multidisciplinary approach that addresses health issues across the lifespan. Details related to syllabi, curriculum development, and course delivery are reviewed. Results: Curriculum and topics were developed by reviewing existing women's health courses and identifying strengths and gaps. Course readings are drawn from a textbook, peer-reviewed scientific literature, news/media articles, and popular press. Classes included a mix of lectures, class/group discussions, group activities, videos and/or short media clips, student presentations (individual and group), and invited guest speakers. Of special interest are the innovative and varied student assessments that this course offers and the breadth of knowledge and critical skills that students acquire. Discussion: Although the particular health topics women face may vary by geographic location, the theoretical underpinnings and lifespan approach will stay the same. Students learn health literacy and critical appraisal skills, appreciate the many dimensions of health, and recognize diverse antecedent factors and disparities that influence health. Utilizing this type of course structure, coupled with innovative and flexible student assignments, would be applicable to other courses in any country or setting such as men's, population, or mental health. The presented framework and experiences can facilitate college health professionals in future course development activities and assist in enabling students to be informed health advocates.
  2,593 474 -
Assessing Undergraduate Competence in Evidencebased Medicine: A Preliminary Study on the Correlation Between Two Objective Instruments
NM Lai, CL Teng, S Nalliah
July 2012, 25(1):33-39
DOI:10.4103/1357-6283.99204  PMID:23787382
Context: The Fresno test and the Berlin Questionnaire are two validated instruments for objectively assessing competence in evidence-based medicine (EBM). Although both instruments purport to assess a comprehensive range of EBM knowledge, they differ in their formats. We undertook a preliminary study using the adapted version of the two instruments to assess their correlations when administered to medical students. The adaptations were made mainly to simplify the presentation for our undergraduate students while preserving the contents that were assessed. Methods: We recruited final-year students from a Malaysian medical school from September 2006 to August 2007. The students received a structured EBM training program within their curriculum. They took the two instruments concurrently, midway through their final six months of training. We determined the correlations using either the Pearson's or Spearman's correlation depending on the data distribution. Results: Of the 120 students invited, 72 (60.0%) participated in the study. The adapted Fresno test and the Berlin Questionnaire had a Cronbach's alfa of 0.66 and 0.70, respectively. Inter-rater correlation (r) of the adapted Fresno test was 0.9. The students scored 45.4% on average [standard deviation (SD) 10.1] on the Fresno test and 44.7% (SD 14.9) on the Berlin Questionnaire (P = 0.7). The overall correlation between the two instruments was poor (r = 0.2, 95% confidence interval: -0.07 to 0.42, P = 0.08), and correlations remained poor between items assessing the same EBM domains (r = 0.01-0.2, P = 0.07-0.9). Discussion: The adapted versions of the Fresno test and the Berlin Questionnaire correlated poorly when administered to medical students. The two instruments may not be used interchangeably to assess undergraduate competence in EBM.
  2,590 445 2
Strengthening Responses to the HIV/AIDS Pandemic: An Internal Evaluation of the Caribbean Health Leadership Institute
K Umble, B Bain, M Ruddock-Small, E Mahanna, EL Baker
July 2012, 25(1):24-32
DOI:10.4103/1357-6283.99203  PMID:23787381
Background: Leadership development is a strategy for improving national responses to HIV/AIDS. The University of the West Indies offers the Caribbean Health Leadership Institute (CHLI) to enhance leaders' effectiveness and responses to HIV/AIDS through a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CHLI enrolls leaders in annual cohorts numbering 20-40. Objectives: To examine how CHLI influenced graduates' self-understanding, skills, approaches, vision, commitments, courage, confidence, networks, and contributions to program, organizational, policy, and systems improvements. Methods: Web-based surveys and interviews of graduates. Results: CHLI increased graduates' self-understanding and skills and strengthened many graduates' vision, confidence, and commitments to improving systems. It helped graduates improve programs, policies, and systems by: motivating them and giving them ideas for changes to pursue, encouraging them to share their vision, deepening skills in areas such as systems thinking, policy advocacy, and communication, strengthening their inclusion of partners and team members, and influencing how they interacted with others. Training both HIV-focused and general health leaders can help both kinds of leaders foster improvements in HIV services and policies. Discussion: Learners greatly valued self-assessments, highly interactive sessions, and the opportunity to build a network of professional colleagues. Projects provided opportunities to address substantive issues and immediately apply learning to work. Leadership development evaluations in the United States have also emphasized the complementary benefits of assessment and feedback, skills development, and network development. Global leadership programs should find ways to combine these components in both traditional face-to-face and distance-learning contexts.
  2,408 313 -
BRIEF COMMUNICATIONS
A Networking Approach to Reduce Academic and Social Isolation for Junior Doctors Working in Rural Hospitals in India
R Vyas, A Zachariah, I Swamidasan, P Doris, I Harris
July 2012, 25(1):70-74
DOI:10.4103/1357-6283.99212  PMID:23787388
Introduction: Graduates from Christian Medical College (CMC) Vellore face many challenges while doing their service obligation in smaller hospitals, including academic and social isolation. To overcome these challenges, CMC aspired through its Fellowship in Secondary Hospital Medicine (FSHM), a 1-year blended on-site and distance-learning program, to provide academic and social support through networking for junior doctors working in rural areas. The purpose of this paper is to report the evaluation of the networking components of the FSHM program, with a focus on whether it succeeded in providing academic and social support for these junior doctors. Methods: A mixed method evaluation was done using written surveys for students and faculty and telephone interviews for students. Evidence for validity was gathered for the written survey. Criteria for validity were also applied for the qualitative data analysis. Results: The major strengths of networking with faculty and peers identified were that it provided social support,, academic support through discussion about patient management problems and a variety of cases seen in the hospital, guidance on projects and reminders about deadlines. Recommendations for improvement included use of videoconferencing and Yahoo Groups. Conclusion: It is useful to incorporate networking into distance-learning educational programs for providing support to junior doctors working in rural hospitals.
  2,011 312 2
EDITORIALS
Moving Down the Road
M Glasser, D Pathman
July 2012, 25(1):1-1
DOI:10.4103/1357-6283.99190  PMID:23787376
  1,392 333 -
Education for Health's New Home in Pune, India
P Bansal
July 2012, 25(1):2-3
DOI:10.4103/1357-6283.99191  PMID:23787377
  1,367 241 -
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
The Development of a Cardiovascular System Portfolio: Challenges Faced and Lessons Learned
Priyanga Ranasinghe, Yashasvi S Perera, Godwin R Constantine
July 2012, 25(1):75-76
DOI:10.4103/1357-6283.99213  PMID:23787389
  1,333 225 -
PERSONAL VIEW
In the News! An Opinion - Higher Fidelity Does not Equal More Effective Learning
J van Dalen
July 2012, 25(1):64-65
DOI:10.4103/1357-6283.99209  PMID:23787386
  1,333 213 -
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Lessons Learned From a Faculty - librarian Collaboration in Teaching the "AIDS and the global society" College Course
Bojana Beric, Lisa R Coats
July 2012, 25(1):77-78
DOI:10.4103/1357-6283.99215  PMID:23787390
  1,314 198 1
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