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- African Journal of Health Professions Education
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- Volume 4, Issue 2, 2012
African Journal of Health Professions Education - Volume 4, Issue 2, 2012
Volume 4, Issue 2, 2012
Author Janet SeggieSource: African Journal of Health Professions Education 4 (2012)More Less
Using aspects of Bernstein's pedagogic device to review and re-align the pharmacy curriculum at Rhodes UniversityAuthor C. OltmannSource: African Journal of Health Professions Education 4 (2012)More Less
Author C.E. DraperSource: African Journal of Health Professions Education 4, pp 97 –101 (2012)More Less
Background and objectives. The use of standardised patients (SPs) in medical education is well documented, mostly in developed settings. The aim of this study was to conduct a needs analysis for the development of a patient-centred SP programme within a primary healthcare (PHC)-led curriculum at the University of Cape Town (UCT) in South Africa, and to make recommendations for its development.
Methods. A mixed methods study was conducted which included focus groups with fourth-year medical students (n=17), a questionnaire for third-year medical students (n=181), a questionnaire for patients who were examined by students (n=28), and quantitative tracking of patient-student encounters.
Results. While students experienced significant challenges in sourcing suitable patients for interviewing and examination, the majority placed such value on the interaction with real patients that benefits outweighed the challenges. For students, challenges included seeing patients who had minor or no clinical signs in order to complete their portfolio tasks. For patients (especially those with clinical signs) it included being examined multiple times by students. Despite this, most patients expressed a desire to play a role in students' education. The study revealed areas of tension and inconsistency with the philosophies of a PHC curriculum, specifically in the areas of patients' rights and the role of patients as 'active teachers'.
Conclusions. An SP programme at UCT could help with the skills development in second year. However, this role should include exploring the doctor-patient-student power relations with students, with a view to encouraging a more patient-centred professional identity for students.
Source: African Journal of Health Professions Education 4, pp 102 –106 (2012)More Less
Objectives. Inadequate training of investigators in statistics and research methods in Africa contributes to having limited local evidence and infrastructure to support multi-centre international trials. Methods of teaching junior oncology professionals tend not to emphasise research discovery, or the roles of emotional engagement and social networking in facilitating effective and efficient learning. We developed a strategy for teaching research methods and statistics in-context, centred on a shared international and practical research project.
Design. An African research network (AFRES) was created and members conducted a pilot clinical registry study to acquire real-time data over a 4-month period in 2011. Following study closure, a proto-course consisting of 7 modules, each orientated to a practical topic in study development, implementation and reporting was administered over 18 weeks to all eight AFRES members. A survey of participants was conducted to evaluate the impact of this training strategy.
Results. This strictly voluntary project had 5 of 8 AFRES members engaged in the process. Within one year, we generated and submitted two manuscripts and two news items for publication. Participants reported an increased understanding of the principles of evidence-based practice, research methods and interest in pursuing future research initiatives.
Conclusion. A novel strategy to build international research infrastructure in Africa, grounded in a practical and relevant project, and which is collaborative and engaging, appears to be efficient and effective.
Evaluation of a service-learning elective as an approach to enhancing the pharmacist's role in health promotion in South AfricaSource: African Journal of Health Professions Education 4, pp 107 –111 (2012)More Less
Background. A service-learning (SL) elective offered to final-year pharmacy students was introduced in 2007. The elective demonstrated a holistic approach to creating opportunities for future pharmacists to understand the current needs and future challenges of the burden of disease in developing countries such as South Africa and to foresee their key roles in health promotion.
Methods. The 2007 Sasol National Festival of Science and Technology (SciFest) was chosen as the ideal platform to implement this elective. Evaluation of the elective was carried out in association with the Academic Development Centre using a web-based software tool known as the ADC evaluation assistant (ADCEA). The ADCEA consisted of a 'question bank' from which the course facilitators selected nine ranked closed questions as well as two open-ended questions.
Results. SciFest participation, in the course of the service-learning elective, was acknowledged by students to have prepared them as responsible citizens to undertake health promotion in the public sector healthcare system.
Conclusion. Students' experiences of the learning opportunities provided in the SciFest elective highlight the strengths of this SL programme. The SL elective provided a unique and relevant opportunity to address the health promotion needs of the South African community and potentially enhance human capacity to deliver health promotion in South Africa.
A postgraduate qualification in the specialisation fields of diagnostic radiography : a needs assessmentSource: African Journal of Health Professions Education 4, pp 112 –117 (2012)More Less
Introduction. Current education and training in radiography in South Africa does not address the need for training in the specialisation fields of diagnostic radiography sufficiently.
Methods. To address this problem, a needs assessment was conducted by means of quantitative questionnaires, qualitative interviews and a focus group discussion. The main aim of the needs assessment was to determine the need for a postgraduate qualification in the specialised fields of radiography. The possible structure of such a programme and the preferred mode of delivery were also investigated.
Results. The results of the study emphasise the need for structured postgraduate programmes in the different specialisation fields of diagnostic radiography.
Conclusion. Responding to this validated need for postgraduate qualifications in the specialisation fields in the profession, recommendations are made towards the development of such postgraduate programmes in the higher education framework in South Africa, promulgated in 2007.
Author J.M. FrantzSource: African Journal of Health Professions Education 4, pp 118 –122 (2012)More Less
Background. Identifying strategies to promote the scholarship of research among health professionals is essential. The published evidence on which to ground this advice is weak.
Aim. This paper presents an argument for using participatory action research as a powerful methodology for academic development strategies that focus on writing for publication, a key component of research capacity development.
Method. Participatory action research was used and participants were all full-time academics in a department in a Faculty of Community and Health Sciences. Various strategies were adopted to promote the scholarship of research in this department, depending on the experience of the academic and at which stage they were in their academic careers.
Results. Following the intervention strategies the participants were able to use the skills obtained in various activities relating to academia, and most of them were successful in publishing their work.
Conclusion. It is evident that through the process of participatory action research, participants are able to identify their needs, design an action plan, implement the action plan and reflect on the progress made during the process. Creating a conducive environment with resource and human support assisted in creating an environment that promoted the scholarship of research.
Source: African Journal of Health Professions Education 4, pp 123 –127 (2012)More Less
Background. This article reports on the introduction of an innovative 'blended learning' approach in the Paediatric Dentistry Department at the University of the Western Cape (UWC) in Cape Town, South Africa. This intervention was the first of its kind to be introduced at UWC's dentistry faculty.
Methods. Educational resources were placed online to supplement didactic and clinical teaching and thus compensate for the lack of chair-side teaching. An online learning platform was therefore provided for students to engage with.
Results. Forty-seven per cent of students accessed the site. The evaluation of the course by these 4th- and 5th-year students was mostly positive. Students who did not access the site provided a variety of reasons for not doing so, the main reasons being 'lack of time' (40%) and 'lack of IT resources' (41%).
Conclusion. This intervention highlighted the fact that 'blended learning' definitely has its place in the dentistry curriculum, especially if minor issues such as access to resources can be addressed. The Paediatric Dentistry Department at UWC is continually pursuing current trends in teaching to provide an education that is on par with global standards.
The clinical associate curriculum - the learning theory underpinning the BCMP programme at the University of PretoriaSource: African Journal of Health Professions Education 4, pp 128 –131 (2012)More Less
The Bachelor of Clinical Medical Practice (BCMP) is a new degree at the University of Pretoria (UP), designed to create a new category of mid-level medical workers, namely clinical associates. UP produced its first 44 graduates in 2011. The BCMP created the opportunity to innovate learning and teaching through designing, monitoring and evaluating the transformation of the curriculum as action research.
Drawing on the theories and practices of authentic learning, self-directed learning, whole-brain learning and collaborative learning, the curriculum has been transformed.
The potential of this curriculum extends beyond the formal education part of the programme - into clinical associate practice, healthcare practice and, potentially, general medical and healthcare education.