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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 26  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1-3

Co-Editors' Notes 26:1

Co-Editors, Education for Health

Date of Web Publication31-May-2013

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1357-6283.112792

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How to cite this article:
Glasser M, Pathman D. Co-Editors' Notes 26:1. Educ Health 2013;26:1-3

How to cite this URL:
Glasser M, Pathman D. Co-Editors' Notes 26:1. Educ Health [serial online] 2013 [cited 2023 Jun 6];26:1-3. Available from:

Welcome to another broad, information-filled issue of Education for Health! Once again, we are able to present a number of important studies and approaches from across the world, with representation in this issue from Canada, England, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Nigeria, Spain, Thailand, and the United States. Papers cover the gamut from consumer perspectives on education to faculty development. Our 'op-ed' columnist, Jan van Dalen (associate editor), offers an interesting perspective on how academic papers are, and should be, published.

From Spain, Montoya and colleagues lead off with "Evaluating Internet Information on Attention-deficit/hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Treatment: Parent and Expert Perspectives." They used the Spanish version of DISCERN, a validated questionnaire designed to assess the quality and reliability of web-based information, to have health professionals experts in ADHD and parents of children with a recent diagnosis of ADHD evaluate information contained in 10 top-ranked websites. According to both parents' and experts' DISCERN scores, the overall quality of information on the majority of websites on treatment options for ADHD was low. Nevertheless, parents' knowledge of ADHD improved, suggesting that information from these websites can be helpful. Montoya et al. conclude that while the Internet provides great opportunities for healthcare education, they can disseminate inaccurate and/or outdated information patients and their families.

Barbosa et al., in "Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MSBR) Training is Associated with Greater Empathy and Reduced Anxiety for Graduate Healthcare Students," examine the impact of MBSR training on students enrolled in podiatric medicine, occupational therapy, physical therapy, physician assistant, and graduate nursing programs in the United States. The MSBR is a behavioral intervention designed to teach self-regulatory skills for stress reduction and emotion management and consists of an eight-week course offering first-hand experience of meditation techniques, including mindful awareness of daily activities and communication. Comparing participants in the MSBR to a control group of students not participating, the researchers found the intervention group had experienced a significant decrease in anxiety as well as increase in empathy as assessed through standard scales. The authors point out that findings are particularly important since higher levels of provider empathy have been shown to positively impact healthcare delivery.

Continuing on the topic of empathy, Aomatsu and colleagues, from Japan, contribute "Medical Students' and Residents' Conceptual Structure of Empathy: A Qualitative Study." The authors note that past studies have revealed a decline in learners' empathy over the course of undergraduate and postgraduate medical education. They use Morse's classification of components of empathy to analyze and understand the perspectives of medical students compared with residents. Aomatsu et al. found that both groups of learners recognized an emotive component as an important part of empathy. However, they also observed that the importance of the emotive component showed a relative decrease with the increase of clinical experience, and empathy now based on a cognitive component. This implies that the decrease in empathy, driven by the emotive component, in previous studies does not necessarily reflect a decrease in empathy overall. The authors conclude that both students and residents consider empathy important in clinical medicine, but the structures of the concept differ between them.

Adeniyi et al. in "Research Profile of Physiotherapy Undergraduates in Nigeria" point out that even though all physiotherapy students in Nigeria during the past 50 years have been required to complete research projects as a part of their professional preparation, the quality of these projects has never been assessed. The authors analyzed research projects conducted by physiotherapy students over a 10-year period in terms of study design, scope, statistical analysis, and research project supervision. They found that most research projects were cross-sectional, exhibited small and arbitrary sample sizes, and over 55% were conducted on human subjects without reporting ethical approval of the study. Adeniyi et al. conclude that there are a number of problems in the research education of physiotherapy students in the country and call for improvements based on their findings.

From Malaysia, Yusoff and colleagues contribute "A Longitudinal Study of Relationships between Previous Academic Achievement, Emotional Intelligence and Personality Traits with Psychological Health of Medical Students during Stressful Periods." The researchers examined relationships of medical students' emotional health previous academic achievement and personality with their psychological health during stressful periods. Key study measures were emotional intelligence assessed through the USMEQ-I and personality traits assessed using the USMaP-i, with five dimensions: extroversion; conscientiousness; agreeableness; neuroticism; and openness. The stressful period studied was the time of the year 1 final examination, which accounted for 70% of the first-year grade. The researchers found that students scoring high on the personality trait of neuroticism were most prone to problems in psychological health during stress periods, including experiencing higher stress, anxiety, and depression. Given the high correlation between neuroticism and stress, the authors argue that this personality trait should be considered as a screening criterion in the student admission process.

Powell et al., in "An Online Narrative Archive of Service User Experiences to Support the Education of Physiotherapy Health and Social Work Students in North East England: An Evaluation Study" (perhaps the longest manuscript title in EfH history!), explored the experiences of stakeholders who contributed to, developed, and used an online narrative archive in the delivery of patients' narratives to students, which are a important educational approach for humanizing students' growing understanding. Stakeholders included physiotherapy and social work educators, patients or storytellers who provided the narratives, narrative interviewers who collected the narratives, students, and a transcriber who provided a text-based account of the narrative to accompany audio-visual materials in the archive. The researchers found that through the online narratives, students gained a perspective on health and illness that would otherwise be unavailable to them using traditional educational methods. Overall, Powell et al. conclude that the online narrative is not only beneficial to students but also to patients as storytellers as well as to educators.

Jayashree and Patro, from India, in "Case Vignette - A Promising Complement to Clinical Case Presentations in Teaching" assess the perceptions of family medicine residents of the advantages and limitations of case vignettes as a teaching tool. Their approach to case vignette draws on residents' community experiences for them to lead an educational session for other residents by describing salient features of the case including history and examination, and suggesting a line of management. The vignettes are limited to 400 words, are circulated for review at least three days before presentation, and include three to four discussion probes relevant to the case. Unique to the case vignette is use of 'real life' cases and the residents being placed in the role of teacher. Some residents perceived the vignette exercise as time consuming but the reported advantages were active participation of the learner, that preparing vignettes helped the residents better organize their thinking and that residents experienced peer teaching.

Loh et al. present "Factors Promoting Sustainability of Education Innovations: A Comparison of Faculty Perceptions and Existing Frameworks," focusing on medical education faculty in Brazil and India who are engaged in education innovation projects. The paper compares educators' perceptions of factors influencing sustainability of their innovative projects with factors that have been identified in the literature. Innovation is generally defined as introducing new products, processes, or services for the purpose of improvement. Sustainability is the ability of a project to maintain its operations, services, and benefits during its projected lifetime. Based on the faculty studied, the authors conclude that faculty development efforts in health professions education should include sustainability strategies like pre-engagement with institutional leaders, alignment of projects with public sector goals, project expansion and transferability, capacity building and evaluation, and creation of a community of educators for information exchange and support.

Susilo and colleagues, from Indonesia, offer a Practical Advice contribution in "Leary's Rose to Improve Negotiation Skills among Health Professionals," by focusing on the culture and context of healthcare delivery in Southeast Asia. Leary's Rose is a model that provides insights into the hierarchical positions people take during a negotiation process - hierarchical positions resulting from power gaps between different healthcare practitioners. The educators propose use of this model to make health professionals more aware of their attitudes and communication styles when negotiating, to improve communication by modifying their natural responses. They discuss Leary's Rose as a training tool in interprofessional education. Susilo et al. conclude that Leary's Rose can be tailored for teachers of communication skills for adaptation to their own context and for evaluation of their teaching strategies.

In a Brief Communication to the journal, Blanco et al. in "Efficiency is Not Enough; You Have to Prove That You Care: Role Modeling of Compassionate Care in an Innovative Resident-as-Teacher Initiative," report on the results of a nine-month role modeling program used at Tufts University School of Medicine in the United States. Goals were: (1) train a cadre of residents to teach compassionate care through role modeling; (2) have residents apply what they learned in their daily interactions with patients, students, and other providers; and (3) have residents present what they learned to their colleagues. The program had a positive impact on residents' perceptions of their relationship-centered skills and they reported the program to be useful. Residents successfully reflected on, embodied, and disseminated the program's core concepts on their rotations.

Associate Editor Jan van Dalen challenges us to think about equity in information exchange and dissemination of findings within the academic sector in "Paying to Publish." Do you agree with his 'best solution'? What would you choose?

Finally in this issue, we call your attention to the Letter to the Editor from Wiwanitkit. In this case describing Thailand, recruiting, educating, and retaining physicians for rural practice remains a complex problem.


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