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   2010| April  | Volume 23 | Issue 1  
    Online since December 28, 2012

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The Practice and Tradition of Bonesetting
A Agarwal, R Agarwal
April 2010, 23(1):225-225
Context: Traditional bonesetting is an art that in the face of urbanization, lack of public attention and lack of modern facilities has survived more than 3,000 years. This article explores the role of bonesetters in the developing world, their successes and failures and possible utilization of their services as part of the healthcare system of a country. Methods: Articles depicting working or techniques of bonesetters or those related to training and education issues of traditional bonesetters, especially in developing countries, were reviewed. The current scenario of healthcare delivery and medical education along with existing socioeconomic conditions prevailing in India were analyzed with generalization of findings to the healthcare delivery systems of other developing countries. Findings: Bonesetting has its strengths and weaknesses. With current socioeconomic conditions and the types of health needs prevailing in developing countries, it would be difficult to abolish traditional bonesetting. These providers have widespread community acceptance and support. Complications can be minimized and practice potentially improved with training and education. Conclusions: Pending infrastructure and socioeconomic development, it appears that traditional bonesetters will remain providers of healthcare. Their methodology utilizes regional resources and is commonly believed to be cheaper and effective. Although the deficiencies of traditional bonesetters have been shown, with adequate training in the basics of orthopaedic care, they can be utilized to provide useful health services at the primary care level.
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Stress and Coping Strategies among Arab Medical Students: Towards a Research Agenda
MA Elzubeir, KE Elzubeir, ME Magzoub
April 2010, 23(1):355-355
Background: Research conducted in the past ten years in the area of stress and coping among Arab medical students has identified some important issues, but other significant aspects have not yet been explored. Objectives: To provide a systematic review of studies reporting on stress, anxiety and coping among Arab medical students and to identify implications for future research. Methods: PubMed was searched to identify peer-reviewed English-language studies published between January 1998 and October 2009 reporting on stress and coping among undergraduate Arab medical students. Search strategy used combinations of the terms: Arab medical student, stress, PBL, psychological distress, depression, anxiety and coping strategies. Demographic information on respondents, instruments used, prevalence data and statistically significant associations were abstracted. Results: The search identified 8 articles that met the specified inclusion criteria. Within the limited range of Arab medical students studied, studies suggest these students have a high prevalence of perceived stress, depression and anxiety, with levels of perceived psychological stress as high as those reported in the international literature for medical students of other regions of the world. Limited data were available regarding coping strategies, the impact of stress on academic performance and attrition among Arab students. No data were available regarding the impact of problem-based learning on stress and coping. Conclusions: The existing literature confirms that stress, depression and anxiety are common among Arab medical students, as for students elsewhere. Little is known about the contribution of different curricula approaches to perceived stress and what coping strategies institutions and students apply to help alleviate stress. Large, prospective, multicentre, multi-method studies are needed to identify personal and curricula features that influence stress, depression, anxiety and coping strategies among Arab students. Keywords: Arab, coping, stress, literature review, medical students, research
  8,216 1,055 -
Validation of the Greek Translation of the Dundee Ready Education Environment Measure (DREEM)
ID Dimoliatis, E Vasilaki, P Anastassopoulos, JP Ioannidis, S Roff
April 2010, 23(1):348-348
Context: The educational environment makes an important contribution to student learning. The DREEM questionnaire is a validated tool assessing the environment. Objectives: To translate and validate the DREEM into Greek. Methods: Forward translations from English were produced by three independent Greek translators and then back translations by five independent bilingual translators. The Greek DREEM.v0 that was produced was administered to 831 undergraduate students from six Greek medical schools. Cronbach's alpha and test-retest correlation were used to evaluate reliability and factor analysis was used to assess validity. Questions that increased alpha if deleted and/or sorted unexpectedly in factor analysis were further checked through two focus groups. Findings: Questionnaires were returned by 487 respondents (59%), who were representative of all surveyed students by gender but not by year of study or medical school. The instrument's overall alpha was 0.90, and for the learning, teachers, academic, atmosphere and social subscales the alphas were 0.79 (expected 0.69), 0.78 (0.67), 0.69 (0.60), 0.68 (0.69), 0.48 (0.57), respectively. In a subset of the whole sample, test and retest alphas were both 0.90, and mean item scores highly correlated (p<0.001). Factor analysis produced meaningful subscales but not always matching the original ones. Focus group evaluation revealed possible misunderstanding for questions 17, 25, 29 and 38, which were revised in the DREEM.Gr.v1. The group mean overall scale score was 107.7 (SD 20.2), with significant differences across medical schools (p<0.001). Conclusion: Alphas and test-retest correlation suggest the Greek translated and validated DREEM scale is a reliable tool for assessing the medical education environment and for informing policy. Factor analysis and focus group input suggest it is a valid tool. Reasonable school differences suggest the instrument's sensitivity.
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Implementing an Interfaculty Series of Courses on Interprofessional Collaboration in Prelicensure Health Science Curriculums
S Dumont, N Brière, D Morin, N Houle, M Iloko-Fundi
April 2010, 23(1):395-395
Introduction: Interprofessional collaborative practices are increasingly recognized as an effective way to deal with complex health problems. However, health sciences students continue to be trained in specialized programs and have little occasion for learning in interdisciplinary contexts. Program Development: The project's purpose was to develop content and an educational design for new prelicensure interfaculty courses on interprofessional collaboration in patient and family-centered care which embedded interprofessional education principles where participants learn with, from and about each other. Implementation: Intensive training was part of a 45-hour program, offered each semester, which was divided into three 15-hour courses given on weekends, to enhance accessibility. Evaluation: A total of 215 students completed questionnaires following the courses, to assess their satisfaction with the educational content. Pre/post measures assessed perception of skills acquisition and perceived benefits of interprofessional collaboration training. Results showed a significant increase from the students' point of view in the knowledge and benefits to be gained from interprofessional collaboration training. Conclusion: The implementation of an interfaculty training curriculum on interprofessional collaborative practice is challenging in many ways, though it offers a true opportunity to prepare future health human resources for contemporary practice requirements.
  4,241 266 -
Outcomes from the Trial Implementation of a Multidisciplinary Online Learning Program in Rural Mental Health Emergency Care
DJ Hills, T Robinson, B Kelly, S Heathcote
April 2010, 23(1):351-351
Introduction: Emergency Departments (EDs) are often the first point of contact for people with acute mental health problems. The impact of the Mental Health Emergency Care (MHEC) online learning program on the knowledge and skills development of clinicians and support staff was evaluated, and options for sustainable implementation of the program were proposed. Methods: Participants were recruited from the four rural health services and the rural areas of one metropolitan health service in New South Wales, Australia. The MHEC course was conducted online over 24 weeks and comprised four sequential modules, each based on a clinical scenario that demonstrated a typical, acute mental health presentation to a general hospital ED. The course was designed to model collaborative practice in mental health emergency care. Results: Participants were surveyed before and after completing the MHEC course. Statistically significant improvements were detected in participant confidence in managing key mental health problems, perceived self-efficacy in dealing with challenging, aggressive behaviours and confidence in key online learning skills. Participants also reported very positive experiences in relation to the course content and structure, instructor support, multidisciplinary discussion and feedback, and improvements in their knowledge and skills about emergency mental healthcare. Conclusions: This study provides evidence for the effectiveness and acceptability of an online educational program in developing the capacity of front-line staff to respond effectively to people who present to EDs with acute mental health problems. The positive outcomes and evaluations of the MHEC course provide support for the deployment of online learning programs that address mental health emergency care.
  3,780 328 -
Innovations in Medical Internship: Benchmarking and Application within the King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences
MS Al-Moamary, S Mamede, HG Schmidt
April 2010, 23(1):367-367
Introduction: While the medical internship (MI) has evolved in some countries into competency-based training with innovative tools for assessment and feedback, the traditional MI is still the norm in many countries. Aim: To describe recent advances in the MI in several countries, to discuss the current MI situation in Saudi Arabia as an example of a country that applies a traditional MI, and to present a Framework for Medical Interns' Competencies (FMIC) implemented within the King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences (KSAU-HS). Methods: Common electronic databases were searched for the years 1990 to 2008 under keywords related to medical internship education. Information on curricula designed for medical interns or junior doctors in selected countries was obtained by searching relevant websites. At the KSAU-HS, the FMIC was created by first building the case for the urgent need for revising the MI and adapting international approaches to the KSA's needs, followed by dialogue among faculty and leaders, planning, coordination and execution of the framework. Results: Two trends were identified in the recent evolution of the MI. In North America, the first postgraduate year now serves the traditional purpose of the MI. Australia and the United Kingdom have embedded the MI within junior doctor training. These innovative curricula have in common a focus on the domains of medical knowledge, clinical practice, professionalism and communication skills. The FMIC applies innovative principles during the MI years customized to the local medical education setting. Conclusion: The evolution in medical education and healthcare systems worldwide has necessitated innovations in the MI. The FMIC is a model whereby innovative curriculum was introduced to enhance the outcomes of the MI in a country that has applied a traditional MI.
  3,125 292 -
Information-seeking Practices of Senior Medical Students: The Impact of an Evidence-based Medicine Training Programme
NM Lai, S Nalliah
April 2010, 23(1):151-151
Context: The practice of Evidence-based Medicine (EBM) involves physicians regularly accessing and appraising clinical information. Few prior studies have assessed the information-seeking behaviours of medical undergraduates. At the International Medical University (IMU), Malaysia, senior medical students receive clinically-integrated EBM training to facilitate their future practice of EBM. Objectives: We assessed whether EBM training in the final six months of medical training changes our students' information seeking practices and their confidence in understanding and appraising clinical evidence. Methods: Between September 2005 and February 2006, self-administered questionnaires were distributed to 65 senior medical students at the beginning and again at the end of their clerkship training during which there was a clinically-integrated EBM curriculum. The questionnaires covered the topics of their preferred sources of clinical information, online search frequencies, estimated time to retrieve an abstract, and their understanding and confidence in their critical appraisal skills. Findings: Sixty-four (98%) students completed the initial survey and 63 (97%) completed the follow-up survey. The majority indicated that they preferred to first consult another individual (colleagues, lecturers, hospital staff) for their clinical queries (60.9% in the initial survey and 61.9% in the follow-up survey), with no change in their overall preference following the EBM curriculum six months later (p=0.144). There were significant increases in search activities following the curriculum, for example, students who searched PubMed or Medline for more than three times per week increased from 9.7% to 31.7% (p < 0.001). Students reported that they more often accessed single journals than databases. Despite significant improvements in students' reported understanding of journals and their confidence in critical appraisal (p < 0.001), there was no improvement in reported search speed, with 48.4% in the initial survey and 49.2% in the follow-up survey reporting to take 30 minutes or less to trace an abstract of interest (p=0.979). Conclusions: Our EBM training, offered within a supportive curriculum, increased our students' confidence and activity related to EBM, but failed to change students' reported information-seeking behaviours. Other factors influencing medical students' information-seeking practice need to be explored.
  2,904 337 -
Group Dynamics and Social Interaction in a South Asian Online Learning Forum for Faculty Development of Medical Teachers
Anshu , M Sharma, WP Burdick, T Sing
April 2010, 23(1):311-311
Background: Group dynamics of online medical faculty development programs have not been analyzed and reported in literature. Knowledge of the types of content of posted messages will help to understand group dynamics and promote participation in an asynchronous learning environment. This paper assesses group dynamics and social interactivity in an online learning environment for medical teachers in the South Asian context. Methods: Participants of a medical education fellowship program conducted by the Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education and Research (FAIMER) Regional Institute at Christian Medical College, Ludhiana (CMCL) in India interact on a listserv called the Mentoring-Learning Web (ML-Web). Monthly topics for online discussion are chosen by fellows through a standard tool called "multi-voting". Fellows volunteer to moderate sessions and direct the pace of the discussion. We analyzed the content and process of the discussion of one particular month. The emails were categorized as those that reflected cognitive presence (dealing with construction and exploration of knowledge), teacher presence (dealing with instructional material and learning resources), and social presence, or were administrative in nature. Social emails were further classified as: affective, cohesive and interactive. Results: Social emails constituted one-third of the total emails. Another one-quarter of the emails dealt with sharing of resources and teacher presence, while cognitive emails comprised 36.2% of the total. More than half of the social emails were affective, while a little less than one-third were cohesive. Conclusion: Social posts are an inevitable part of online learning. These posts promote bonding between learners and contribute to better interaction and collaboration in online learning. Moderators should be aware of their presence and use them as tools to promote interactivity.
  2,799 245 -
An Evaluation of ROME Camp: Forgotten Innovation in Medical Education
AR Dongre, PR Deshmukh, SS Gupta, BS Garg
April 2010, 23(1):363-363
Background and Objectives: Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (MGIMS), Sewagram, India's first rural medical institute, has been implementing its community-based public health teaching with the aim of building a physician workforce for the rural poor. For the past four decades, the MGIMS has organized and run the Re-orientation of Medical Education (ROME) camp for final year medical undergraduates at one of the rural centres of the department of Community Medicine. The objectives of the present study were to learn students' perceptions of the value and effectiveness of various components of the ROME camp and learn the factors they perceive facilitate and inhibit learning. Methods: A mixed-method research design of quantitative (survey) and qualitative (force field analysis) methods was used. The study participants were all 61 of the final year medical undergraduates participating in the ROME camp in 2008. The quantitative data was analyzed using SPSS software package and summative content analysis of the qualitative data was undertaken. Results: Students were generally very positive about all aspects of the camp and its component parts. The greatest consensus (88.9%, on a 0 to 100% scale) was for the contribution to student learning of the visit to the Primary health centre and Sub-centre, as offering direct exposure and interaction with the village-level service providers. There was poorer consensus for students' involvement with the field-based clinics, as this was felt by some not to contribute significantly to their understanding of socioeconomic and environmental factors related to cases (78.8%) and their ability to diagnose health problems in resource poor settings (76.5%). The major strength of the camp was felt to be its exposure visits and hands-on experiences in surveys and interaction with village-level health care providers. Students reported poor interactions with teachers in some educational sessions, including the field-based clinics and classes on theories of national health programs. Conclusions: The curriculum of the ROME camp was generally well regarded by students, but based on their views it should emphasize interactive theory sessions. The ROME scheme can be revitalized in all medical colleges as it is an effective practical approach for teaching public health principles and practice to medical students.
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Further Confirmation of the Psychometric Properties of Responses to the Psychological Medicine Inventory -Student Version
YG Bachner, N O'Rourke, H Castel, T Kushnir
April 2010, 23(1):305-305
Context: The Psychological Medicine Inventory (PMI) was first developed to measure physicians' reported interest level, confidence and perceived ability to address the psychological aspects of patient care. A student version of this scale has since been proposed (PMI-S). Objective: To further examine the psychometric properties of responses to this student version and to confirm a 2-factor response structure. Methods: A total of 213 first-year medical students at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev participated in this study. They completed the PMI-S (translated into Hebrew) and a socio-demographic questionnaire. The viability of the 2-factor structure of PMI-S responses was assessed using confirmatory factor analysis (CFA). Findings: Consistent with the original English language version, CFA supported a 2-factor solution (i.e., psychological abilities and psychological sensitivity). All goodness-of-fit indices were found to be within ideal parameters. Discussion and conclusions: Results of this study suggest that the PMI-S can be used to assess psychosocial competence and abilities of medical students and to evaluate the effectiveness of psycho-educational programs aimed at improving their psychosocial abilities.
  1,944 164 -
Reforming a Health Care Workforce
D Pathman, M Glasser
April 2010, 23(1):470-470
  1,613 157 -
Global Health is "the New Pink."
AY Ostrovsky
April 2010, 23(1):297-297
  1,516 127 -
Co-Editors' Notes 23:1
M Glasser, D Pathman
April 2010, 23(1):471-471
  1,407 149 -
Reviewers of Education for Health
M-L Panis
April 2010, 23(1):464-464
  1,365 124 -
In the News! An opinion Use of Humanities in Health Professions Education
J van Dalen
April 2010, 23(1):465-465
  1,346 118 -