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Year : 2006  |  Volume : 19  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 331-344

A Collaborative Approach to Developing a Validated Competence-Based Curriculum for Health Professions Students

1 John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA
2 Department of Anthropology, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA

Correspondence Address:
Alice M Tse
Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Nursing, University of Hawaii at Manoa, John A. Burns School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, 1319 Punahou Street, Room739,Honolulu, Hawaii 96826
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Problem: Curricula are developed to educate health professions students to provide efficient and effective health services. In addition to learning their disciplinary perspective, today's students must master the concepts of multidisciplinary team care. Traditionally, curriculum was developed based primarily on the perspectives of the discipline faculty, administration and accrediting agencies. However, now there are multiple groups (other academic educators, consumers and employers of health care providers) who may hold differing perspectives about outcomes expected from these programs. Purpose: The purpose of this investigation was to use an innovative methodology to generate and validate a curriculum for health professions students from multiple disciplines. Method: A multi-phased method using focus groups, surveys, dissemination and affirmation was presented to identify the concepts and best practices that should be included. Results: Several performance-based themes evolved during the interviews and a questionnaire was generated. Academic educators, consumers and employers of health care providers indicated agreement that the components on the survey were realistic and important for health professions students to achieve. Thus, outcomes for a curriculum were validated. The faculty rated several components of the curriculum as less realistic for students to achieve than did the consumers and employers. This investigation suggests it may be necessary for faculty to assist providers and parents in developing more realistic expectations about what students can achieve during their educational program. The approach used in this current project moves the field of the health professions curriculum development to a different level when compared with the traditional curriculum development approaches and should be used by others concerned with multi-professional education to assure the validity of the curricula.

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