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- Volume 7, Issue 2, 2015
African Journal of Health Professions Education - Volume 7, Issue 2, 2015
Volume 7, Issue 2, 2015
Author Vanessa BurchSource: African Journal of Health Professions Education 7 (2015) http://dx.doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.7196/AJHPE.704More Less
One of the key mandates of the 21st century is the provision of comprehensive, integrated healthcare to all members of society. For this to become a reality the training needs of all healthcare professionals must be addressed by the research endeavours of health professions educators. So, the key question is, 'Does the current health professions education research agenda address the training needs of all healthcare professionals?'.
Optimising cognitive load and usability to improve the impact of e-learning in medical education : reviewSource: African Journal of Health Professions Education 7, pp 147 –152 (2015) http://dx.doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.7196/AJHPE.569More Less
E-learning has the potential to support the development of expertise in clinical reasoning by being able to provide students with interactive learning experiences, exposure to multiple cases, and opportunities for deliberate practice with tailored feedback. This review focuses on two important but underappreciated factors necessary for successful e-learning, i.e. the management of the learner's cognitive load and the usability of the technology interface.
Cognitive load theory views learning as involving active processing of information by working memory via separate visual and auditory channels. This system is of very limited capacity and any cognitive load that does not directly contribute to learning is considered extraneous and likely to impede learning. Researchers in cognitive load theory have provided evidence-based instructional design principles to reduce extraneous cognitive load and better manage the cognitive processing necessary for learning.
Usability is a concept from the field of human-computer interaction which describes how easy technology interfaces are to use, and is routinely evaluated and optimised in the software development industry. This is seldom the case when e-learning resources are developed, especially in the area of medical education. Poor usability limits the potential benefit of educational resources, as learners experience difficulties with the technology interface while simultaneously dealing with the challenges of the content presented. Practitioners in the field of human-computer interaction have provided guidelines and methods for evaluating and optimising the usability of e-learning materials.
The fields of cognitive load theory and human-computer interaction share a common goal in striving to reduce extraneous cognitive load. The load induced by poor usability of e-learning materials can be viewed as a specific component of extraneous cognitive load, adding to any load resulting from poor instructional design. The guidelines from these two fields are complementary and, if correctly implemented, may substantially improve the impact of our e-learning resources on the development of the clinical reasoning skills of students.
Rising to the challenge : training the next generation of clinician scientists for South Africa : short reportSource: African Journal of Health Professions Education 7, pp 153 –154 (2015) http://dx.doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.7196/AJHPE.671More Less
Background. A shortage of clinician scientists globally, particularly in the developing world, including Africa and South Africa (SA), is well known and was recently highlighted in a consensus report by the Academy of Science of South Africa. There is a need to find innovative ways to develop and advance clinician scientists in SA.
Objective. To provide opportunities for young clinicians to develop research skills through enrolling for a PhD.
Method. To address this need in SA, we developed an innovative programme over 2 years in collaboration with the Carnegie Corporation of New York to support and train young specialist clinicians in research as the next generation of clinician scientists, through a full-time PhD programme.
Results. Since initiation of the programme in March 2011, 16 such specialists have been enrolled at intervals in the Fellowship programme, 5 have qualified with PhDs, while a further 3 are expected to qualify shortly. Publications and presentations at congresses have been recorded as well as grant applications.
Discussion. Although the programme is seen as an important initial step in addressing the shortage of clinician scientists, its dependence on donor funding and the lack of a secure career path for clinicians wishing to spend more of their career in research pose problems for the programme's sustainability. It is hoped that the positive outcomes of this experience will initiate further programmes of this kind at academic institutions and attract the attention of funders and universities in order to sustain and enlarge this initiative.
Effect of simulated emergency skills training and assessments on the competence and confidence of medical students : researchSource: African Journal of Health Professions Education 7, pp 155 –157 (2015) http://dx.doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.7196/AJHPE.229More Less
Background. At Medunsa, Pretoria, South Africa, the training of final-year medical students includes the management of simulations that incorporate, inter alia, the following emergency skills: cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), defibrillation, airway suctioning, oropharyngeal airway placement, endotracheal intubation and bag-valve-mask ventilation. Other than CPR, all emergency training of the 2012 student group was by means of apprenticeship in clinical rotations. Therefore, there was no evidence of the students' competence or confidence with regard to their performance of emergency skills.
Objectives. To explore the effect of simulated skills training and assessments on medical students' competence and confidence when using the skills required to manage clinical emergencies.
Method. A one-group pretest post-test quasi-experimental design was used, with a convenience sample (n=82) comprising final-year medical students from 3 of the 6 annual Family Medicine rotations. The participants' competence (knowledge and selected emergency skills as per curriculum) and confidence were assessed before training. The intervention comprised training in relevant theory, demonstrations and supervised hands-on practice. The post-training assessments were a repeat of the pretraining assessments.
Results. The improvement in participants' confidence and competence levels when performing all the emergency skills on completion of the demonstrations and hands-on practice was highly significant (p≤0.001). Participants were unanimous in their opinion that pre-assessments had enhanced their learning experience.
Conclusions. The strategy of teaching/learning and assessment of emergency skills in simulation was highly effective in enhancing the competence and confidence of medical students when managing a clinical emergency. However, students appeared to be overconfident, which could be ascribed to ignorance, and possibly indicates that feedback during training should be improved.
Source: African Journal of Health Professions Education 7, pp 158 –160 (2015) http://dx.doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.7196/AJHPE.273More Less
Background. Intravenous (IV) cannulation is a commonly performed procedure that is taught to a number of health science students. As with most invasive medical interventions, there is a possibility of unintended adverse effects. Therefore, IV cannulation should only be performed for a clearly established need.
Objective. To assess the extent to which emergency medical care students, during the course of their clinical learning, establish IV access in patients without a clearly documented indication.
Methods. A retrospective analysis of historical data from a clinical learning database was done to investigate whether patients seen by students over a 2-year period received IV cannulation in line with indications taught to students.
Results. Of the 5 893 cases reviewed, 1 862 (32%) were cannulated intravenously. Of these, 426 (23%) did not have a clearly documented indication that had been taught for the procedure. Therefore, these patients may potentially have been 'overtreated'.
Conclusion. This study demonstrates that a high number of IV lines were established by students, with no clearly documented indication. This potential overtreatment may in part be attributed to pressures placed on students to achieve the minimum prescribed number of skills. Such practices remain common in medical education and may be detrimental to the patient. Medical educators need to ensure that students value the patient rather than the procedure. Further research needs to be conducted to investigate and identify other possible reasons for overtreatment of patients by medical students.
Implementing and managing community-based education and service learning in undergraduate health sciences programmes : students' perspectives : researchSource: African Journal of Health Professions Education 7, pp 161 –164 (2015) http://dx.doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.7196/AJHPE.333More Less
Background. A current challenge in the training of healthcare professionals is to produce socially responsive graduates who are prepared for work in community settings. Community-based education (CBE) and service learning (SL) are teaching approaches used in the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of the Free State (UFS), Bloemfontein, South Africa to address these challenges. Students have different views with regard to CBE and SL, and by surveying these perceptions information can be gained on how to better integrate CBE and SL into learning programmes.
Objective. To investigate students' perceptions of CBE and SL in a health sciences faculty.
Methods. Nominal group discussion was conducted to identify topics to explore students' perceptions of CBE and SL. A questionnaire was administered to all undergraduate health sciences students at UFS to survey their perceptions of CBE and SL.
Results. Twenty different themes were identified that had a positive or negative impact on the students' perceptions of CBE and SL. Positive aspects included personal growth, exposure to a diversity of patients, gaining practical experience and enhancement of inter- and intrapersonal skills. However, the students perceived the following as negative or inadequate: the organisation of CBE and SL; availability of resources; attitude of healthcare professionals; and prior orientation.
Conclusion. CBE and SL need to be carefully implemented and managed to enhance the learning experience for students and produce socially responsive healthcare professionals who are equipped to address the healthcare challenges in their communities.
Preclinical medical students' performance in and reflections on integrating procedural and communication skills in a simulated patient consultation : researchSource: African Journal of Health Professions Education 7, pp 165 –169 (2015) http://dx.doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.7196/AJHPE.334More Less
Background. An effective patient-centred consultation requires the seamless integration of procedural (technical) and communication skills. Research has shown that the two sets of skills should not be taught or assessed separately; yet, clinical communication education has become separated from other parts of medical education.
Objectives. To assess students' performance of integrated procedural and clinical communication skills in a simulated consultation, and analyse and interpret their reflections on the value and challenges of these integrated assessments.
Methods. A mixed-method study was conducted to assess a convenience sample of 207 third-year medical students' integration of procedural and consultation skills in a simulated patient consultation and explore their self-assessment and reflections on the value of the assessment.
Results. The average percentages scored for procedural and communication checklist items were compared. Facilitators and participants scored procedural skills significantly higher, indicating poor integration of communication skills. A thematic analysis of written reflections revealed that students learned by: (i) experiencing an authentic consultation; (ii) integrating their procedural and communication skills as well as their knowledge and skills; (iii) experiencing the assessment as learning; and (iv) becoming aware of the effects of emotion.
Conclusion. Although the majority of students were not able to integrate their skills in performing a simulated consultation, they nonetheless appreciated the value of the assessment as a learning experience.
Source: African Journal of Health Professions Education 7, pp 170 –175 (2015) http://dx.doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.7196/AJHPE.352More Less
Background. In many parts of the developing world the lack of consistent and affordable transport may be a serious obstacle to education and a unique sociocultural cause of stress among undergraduate students.
Objective. To determine the student-perceived benefits of a faculty-led, grassroots student transport service for economically disadvantaged medical students. The service has been newly developed and implemented at the School of Medicine, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa.
Methods. A brief qualitative questionnaire survey, with Likert scales and free text, was administered to participants in the Student Transport Project after its first 21 months of operation. Students' views of the impact and effect of the project on their circumstances were surveyed.
Results. During its first 2 years of operation, the Student Transport Project was used by 116 students in their clinical third - fifth years, representing 16.6% of students in these years of training. All the participating students using the shuttle service were from previously disadvantaged communities and were economically disadvantaged. A survey among the participating students yielded an 84% response rate; they all felt that the service significantly reduced their levels of financial and emotional stress, and many believed that the project positively impacted on their academic performance and assisted them in remaining in medical school.
Conclusion. The basic, but novel, student transport service described in this article can have a dramatic effect in reducing medical student stress and, potentially, improving academic performance and success. It is hoped that others in lesser-developed countries in Africa and beyond may replicate such a student-centred transport initiative at their schools.
Nursing students' perception of simulation as a clinical teaching method in the Cape Town Metropole, South Africa : researchSource: African Journal of Health Professions Education 7, pp 176 –179 (2015) http://dx.doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.7196/AJHPE.363More Less
Background. Given the pivotal role that simulation plays in teaching students clinical skills, it is important to understand the students' perception of using simulation laboratories.
Objectives. A descriptive qualitative research design was used to determine whether participants 'believe' they have gained competence and confidence to assess a patient holistically.
Methods. Purposive sampling of 10 individual interviews and a focus group of 7 participants was drawn from primary healthcare students who successfully completed the programme the preceding year. Data were collected by 2 trained fieldworkers and transcribed by the researcher (NN). Ethical approval was obtained from the Health Research Ethics Committee, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa, and informed consent from the participants.
Results. The data that emerged from the data analysis were coded and categorised into themes and subthemes. The following 5 themes emerged: simulation as a teaching method; a manikin offering effective learning; confidence in clinical practice; structure of the course; and a support system. The researcher compiled a written account of the interpretations that emerged from the data analysis and verified these with the fieldworkers. Furthermore, member checking was done on 2 of the participants from the focus group and 2 of those from the individual interviews to validate the transcribed data. The findings suggest that the manikin should be upgraded regularly and be able to register a response. Data showed that the students are in favour of simulation as a foundation phase in their programme, but preferred to be introduced to a human being.
Conclusion. Simulation as a clinical teaching method ensured a good foundation phase, but students felt more competent and confident after practising on humans.
Source: African Journal of Health Professions Education 7, pp 180 –182 (2015) http://dx.doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.7196/AJHPE.385More Less
Background. Ethics training at tertiary level is important to facilitate an understanding of patient dignity and respect. Traditionally, ethics has been taught in the form of didactic lectures; however, the authors are of the opinion that practical applications are more useful.
Objective. To measure students' moral reasoning frameworks before and after an intensive course in medical ethics.
Methods. The study cohort was given a pre- and post-test of the moral behaviour scale (MBS). The t-test for matched scores was performed to determine the presence of significant differences between the mean pre- and post-test scores for the 5 scales of the MBS.
Results. The study showed that there was a change in the students' moral behaviour when a specific course structure was evaluated.
Conclusion. A combination of didactic and Socratic methodology of training had some effect on the moral reasoning ability of healthcare students.
Experiences of medical and pharmacy students' learning in a shared environment : a qualitative study : researchSource: African Journal of Health Professions Education 7, pp 183 –186 (2015) http://dx.doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.7196/AJHPE.394More Less
Background. Patient care is significantly affected by doctors and pharmacists, who have specialised knowledge and skills. In establishing an interprofessional undergraduate learning environment, medical and pharmacy students have the opportunity to start working in a collaborative manner early on in their careers.
Objectives. To implement combined clinical visits, where medical and pharmacy students jointly encounter patients, and to establish the students' perceptions of working in an interprofessional team.
Methods. Final-year pharmacy students together with third-year medical students at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa were invited to participate in weekly joint patient encounters at a central academic hospital from May to July 2012. Students assessed patient records and participated in the patient consultation, guided by the supervising doctor. Participants from each discipline were invited to attend a discipline-specific focus group discussion, where they shared their perceptions and experiences. The discussions were audio-taped and transcribed verbatim. Content analysis was used to analyse the transcriptions. Ethics approval was obtained from the Human Research Ethics Committee of the University.
Results. Four themes were identified: the meeting of professions; shared teaching and learning; reciprocity in teaching and learning; and valuing the experience. It is evident that there was a change in students' attitudes, and they developed mutual respect and a better understanding of their professional role and that of their peers. They also reported positive experiences in learning from and with one another.
Conclusion. This study focused on eliciting students' perceptions and attitudes towards interprofessional teaching and learning. The positive responses to the experiences suggest that further learning opportunities should be created with students from another discipline.
Source: African Journal of Health Professions Education 7, pp 187 –189 (2015) http://dx.doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.7196/AJHPE.396More Less
Background. Ethics training strives to facilitate critical thinking, objective analysis and clinical reasoning skills to equip students with the ability to make an impartial and unbiased decision in different contexts and diverse client populations. This enhances students' learning experiences. Occupational therapy (OT) students are expected to work in a variety of contexts. They experience many sources of conflict in their fieldwork practice on a daily basis, while at the same time upholding professional values, responsibilities and duties.
Objectives. To determine the issues that students face in their fieldwork practice and address these in an ethical manner.
Methods. Qualitative research was done among fourth-year OT students by means of an open-ended questionnaire.
Results. Three major themes relevant to ethical issues were identified: professional-student relationship; professional boundaries; and disclosure of information and keeping information confidential.
Conclusion. The salient themes identified reflect the primary ethical tensions in the international literature from the UK and Canada, but little evidence has been reported from South Africa. Taking cognizance of this, those who are involved in the training of healthcare professionals should incorporate the identified issues in the class discussions. For many students their fieldwork practice may be their first experience with some of the aforementioned issues. Alluding to these in a safe environment (class situation) and equipping the students with a framework of analysis are very important.
Promotion of a primary healthcare philosophy in a community-based nursing education programme from the students' perspective : researchSource: African Journal of Health Professions Education 7, pp 190 –193 (2015) http://dx.doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.7196/AJHPE.399More Less
Background. Community-based education (CBE) serves as a primordial instrument in the implementation of primary healthcare (PHC). Learning experiences in community-based settings provide students with learning opportunities, as they are actively engaged in PHC-associated activities in under-resourced communities. Many nursing schools in higher education integrated and implemented a CBE programme with an end-goal of becoming healthcare practitioners who are responsive to the needs of the community.
Objectives. To establish how PHC philosophy is promoted through a community-based nursing education programme.
Methods. The study was non-experimental and cross-sectional with a quantitative approach and was done at a selected higher education institution in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. A total of 118 participants were selected using the non-probability convenience sampling technique. A self-report questionnaire was distributed to the participants; 91 questionnaires were completed and returned - a response rate of 73.3%. Ethical clearance was obtained from the University of KwaZulu-Natal Ethics Review Committee. Participation was voluntary, informed consent was obtained, and other ethical principles were respected. Data were analysed with the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). Descriptive and analytical analysis was used to analyse the data.
Results. The participants reported exposure to community-based learning from the first until the fourth year of their study programme. Participants (69.9%) indicated that their learning activities had involved members of the community. The community-based learning projects, which mostly promoted a PHC philosophy, included prevention of illness, injuries and social problems (90.1%), health promotion (89%) and engaging communities in community-based learning activities to promote their self-reliance and self-determination (76.9%).
Conclusion. Findings revealed that the community-based learning experiences of students promoted a PHC philosophy and that underprivileged community settings provided a rich learning environment.
Source: African Journal of Health Professions Education 7, pp 194 –198 (2015) http://dx.doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.7196/AJHPE.408More Less
Background. The inclusion of 'management' competencies in medical curricula is widely propagated. There is some evidence in the literature that undergraduate dental students regard clinical skills as more important than management skills.
Objective. To investigate student perceptions regarding Dental Practice Management (DPM) as a subject in the undergraduate dental curriculum at the University of Pretoria, South Africa (SA) and to relate these perceptions to their future career aspirations.
Method. A cross-sectional survey was conducted in 2012 by means of an anonymous questionnaire among second-, third-, fourth- and fifth-year dental students (N=228) at the University of Pretoria's School of Dentistry.
Results. Of the 192 respondents, 92% (n=177) agreed that DPM should be a subject in an undergraduate curriculum, but there was no correlation with their career aspirations. Leadership and management skills (77.6%), people skills (64.6%), communication and listening skills (46.4%) and personal style (42.2%) were seen as the most important non-clinical skills. Students indicated their career aspirations as follows: private practice owners (45.3%, n=81), public sector and military (15.1%, n=27), working abroad (13.4%, n=24) and Medicross/Intercare (11.2%, n=21). There were statistically significant differences (p=0.001) among the study years with regard to private practice aspirations. Most students (81.7%, n=156) indicated that they would specialise if afforded the opportunity.
Conclusion. In light of the prospects of the National Health Insurance (NHI) in SA, management and leadership skills will be vital to the successful long-term implementation of the NHI; hence, academic institutions and government should address these issues as a priority in their undergraduate curricula.
Source: African Journal of Health Professions Education 7, pp 199 –201 (2015) http://dx.doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.7196/AJHPE.409More Less
Background. Medical and dental students often participate in joint basic science curricula, such as the basic science curriculum at the University of Pretoria, South Africa. Reports from the USA and Australia, however, show that it may be problematic because joint basic science curricula are mostly tailored around the needs of the medical students only, which may lead to prejudice and marginalisation of dental students. There are no local studies to inform decision-making in this regard.
Objectives. To determine whether dental students perceived the joint basic science curriculum at the University of Pretoria to be relevant to their needs and if they felt marginalised.
Methods. Reflective essays with regard to the 2011 and 2012 second-year dental students' perceptions of the first 2 years of study in the joint curriculum were qualitatively analysed using a thematic approach. Frequency distributions of the identified themes were also calculated.
Results. Despite positive comments, the dental students perceived that the joint basic science curriculum at the University of Pretoria may not be relevant to their needs and that they are being marginalised in the teaching and learning processes.
Conclusion. The current study highlights the need for improvements in the manner in which joint basic science curricula are being administered in order to foster interprofessional collaboration. Alternatively, dental and medical students should be separated to ensure that the educational objectives of basic science curricula are being met for minority groups, such as dental students.
Author T.C. PostmaSource: African Journal of Health Professions Education 7, pp 202 –207 (2015) http://dx.doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.7196/AJHPE.411More Less
Background. In 2009 a new case-based instructional design was implemented during the preclinical year of study of the undergraduate dental curriculum of the University of Pretoria, South Africa. The objective of the educational intervention was to improve the development of clinical reasoning skills. To achieve this, systematic scaffolding, relevance, integration and problem-solving were actively promoted as part of teaching and learning. A student's clinical reasoning was measured by a progress test containing 32 multiple choice questions (MCQs), formulated on a knowledge-application level. In 2011 it became clear that some students showed progression while others did not.
Objectives. This study was conducted to gauge the value of the case-based intervention with the aim of determining the need for further scaffolding and support, especially for non-progressing students.
Methods. The 2011 BChD IV cohort (N=48) was identified for the study. Two semi-structured focus group discussions were conducted. Group 1 (n=8) consisted of students who progressed ≥9%, while group 2 (n=8) comprised students who did not progress to the same extent.
Results. Both groups lauded the scaffolding that the case-based curriculum provided. Strategic thinking, goal orientation and self-regulation ability were identified in group 1. A lack of diligence, poor data-processing ability and a possible lack of interest were identified in group 2 students, who were unaware of learning opportunities.
Conclusion. There is a need for early identification of students lacking self-regulated learning and for providing timely feedback and support to progressively develop their clinical reasoning skills.
The meaning of being a pharmacist : considering the professional identity development of first-year pharmacy students : researchSource: African Journal of Health Professions Education 7, pp 208 –211 (2015) http://dx.doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.7196/AJHPE.423More Less
Background. Professional identity underpins an individual's perspective in the way they evaluate, learn and make sense of their professional practice. In pharmacy education, the development of a professional identity has remained problematic, which may largely be attributed to the dearth of literature that properly defines, teaches and assesses professionalism.
Objectives. To identify and describe first-year pharmacy students' professional identity and determine whether it changed during the first semester of the 'Introduction to pharmacy' course.
Methods. Students had to write three sequential reflective reports in which they were expected to identify critical experiences since their enrolment. These served as reference points from which they could frame their sense of professional identity. After grading, each set of reports was ordered according to total marks allocated, of which every tenth report was selected for thematic analysis.
Results. Baseline reports indicated that students had a largely stereotypical view of the pharmacist as medicine supplier. Subsequent reports showed a shift in perspective, as students articulated a more complex role for the pharmacist, distinguished between the pharmacist's role and that of other health professionals, and formulated the pharmacist's positive value for society.
Conclusion. Our findings describe the attempts of first-year pharmacy students to internalise a professional identity during a first-semester module. By applying concepts of social identity theory to sequential reflective assignments, an emerging professional identity could be interpreted, which was denoted by an increasing sense of belonging to the pharmacy profession.
Field trips as an intervention to enhance pharmacy students' positive perception of a management module in their final year : a pilot study : researchSource: African Journal of Health Professions Education 7, pp 212 –215 (2015) http://dx.doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.7196/AJHPE.436More Less
Background. Management training is an important aspect of pharmacy training, as many pharmacists are appointed in management positions early in their careers. However, students struggle to see the importance and relevance of a management module in the final year of the BPharm curriculum and show low levels of motivation and engagement with regard to the module. A possible strategy to change students' perceptions of the importance of a management module is the inclusion of field trips in the curriculum.
Objective. To determine whether students' experience of field trips influenced their perceptions regarding a management module as part of their training as future pharmacists.
Methods. A mixed-method sequential exploratory research design was used. Data were gathered through written narratives and focus group interviews, followed by surveys before and after the field trips.
Results. The students who participated in the field trips (experimental group) had higher mean scores in the post-test than those who did not participate (control group). The experimental group was more positive about the module than the control group. The field trips improved the perception of students regarding the importance of the management module for future job preparation.
Conclusion. Field trips add value to pharmacy training and should form part of the BPharm curriculum in South Africa.
An exploration of the experiences and practices of nurse academics regarding postgraduate research supervision at a South African university : researchSource: African Journal of Health Professions Education 7, pp 216 –219 (2015) http://dx.doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.7196/AJHPE.443More Less
Background. The global landscape of higher education has repositioned itself, moving away from insular institutions towards open responsive systems of teaching and learning with an emphasis on cultivating a new mode of knowledge production. The South African higher education system has responded to these global changes by recognising the contribution of research productivity as a commodity within the overall worldwide knowledge economy. These changes have contributed towards an increased intake of candidates in many university faculties, including nursing, to meet the demand of producing highly skilled graduates.
Objectives. To explore and describe the current practices and experiences of nurse academics regarding postgraduate research supervision.
Methods. A descriptive exploratory design with in-depth interviews was used, and a self-reported questionnaire eliciting information on research supervision practices.
Results. Three emergent themes were identified from the results of this study: a lack of standardised guidelines for nurse academics to effectively supervise postgraduate research; the pressure that nurse academics experience regarding postgraduate research supervision; other demanding roles of an academic, such as a high teaching and clinical workload.
Conclusion. The study demonstrated gaps in research supervision, shared frustrations such as feelings of isolation, and a lack of support systems.
Examining the effects of a mindfulness-based professional training module on mindfulness, perceived stress, self-compassion and self-determination : researchSource: African Journal of Health Professions Education 7, pp 220 –223 (2015) http://dx.doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.7196/AJHPE.460More Less
Background. Mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) have been shown to be effective in a wide range of health-related problems. Teaching and research with regard to MBIs have largely been conducted in the USA and Europe. The development of teachers of MBIs requires that they embody the practice of mindfulness and acquire pedagogical competencies. Stellenbosch University and the Institute for Mindfulness South Africa have launched a new and innovative training programme consisting of 4 modules, with a blend of residential retreats and e-learning. Internationally, this is the first study that specifically investigates the effects of mindfulness on the mental state of health professionals being trained to teach MBIs in their clinical practice.
Objectives. To evaluate the first 9-week module in terms of its effect on mindfulness practice, self-determination, self-compassion and perception of stress.
Methods. This is a before-and-after study of 23 participants, using 4 validated tools: Kentucky Inventory of Mindfulness Skills, Self-Determination Scale, Self-Compassion Scale, Perceived Stress Scale.
Results. There were significantly increased scores (p< 0.05) for all 4 aspects of mindfulness practice (observing, describing, acting with awareness and accepting without judgement) and self-compassion. There was also a significant decrease in the perception of stress, but no effect on self-determination scores, which were already high at baseline.
Conclusion. Potential teachers of MBIs in South Africa demonstrated significant gains in their own mindfulness practice and self-compassion as well as decreased perception of stress during the first module of the training programme. Further research will follow as this group completes the entire programme.