144 research outputs found

    Life stance and religous identity in an urbanized world

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    Embedding electronic decision-support tools for suspected cancer in primary care: a qualitative study of GPs' experiences

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    Aim: The purpose of this evaluation was to obtain views from general practitioners (GPs) who piloted the electronic risk assessment tools (eRATs) for suspected lung or colorectal cancer. We wanted to find out whether GPs were able to integrate these tools into their everyday practice. We were also keen to identify facilitators and barriers to their more widespread use. Background: Cancer remains one of UK’s biggest health problems, in terms of morbidity and mortality. Comparative European data show that five-year survival figures for many cancers are lower in the United Kingdom than in comparable European countries. eRATs are intended to aid recognition of symptoms of lung and colorectal cancers in patients aged 40 years and over. Methods: This was a qualitative study; telephone interviews were conducted with 23 GPs who piloted the eRATs. A systematic qualitative analysis was applied to the data. The normalisation process model was used after data collection. This theory-driven conceptual framework was used to examine the operationalisation of this intervention in Primary Care. Findings: Electronic decision-support tools appear to be useful additions to the resources available to GPs in order to assist them with recognizing potential cancer symptoms. However, the tools need to be refined in order to integrate them into GP practice. The tools raised GPs’ awareness about cancer because of the prompt facility of the software, although this also raised the potential of ‘prompt fatigue’. GPs constantly receive alerts via their clinical system, particularly related to the Quality and Outcomes Framework. The integration of eRATs into routine practice could be engendered by improvement to the training packages that accompany them, and by its delivery via a platform compatible with all GP clinical systems

    Medical students writing on death, dying and palliative care : a qualitative analysis of reflective essays

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    Background: Medical students and doctors are becoming better prepared to care for patients with palliative care needs and support patients at the end of life. This preparation needs to start at medical school. Objective: To assess how medical students learn about death, dying and palliative care during a clinical placement using reflective essays and to provide insights to improve medical education about end of life care and/or palliative care. Methods: Qualitative study in which all reflective essays written by third year medical students in one year from a UK medical school were searched electronically for those that included ‘death’, ‘dying’ and ‘palliative care’. The anonymised data were managed using QSR NVivo 10 software, and a systematic analysis was conducted in three distinct phases: (1) open coding; (2) axial coding and (3) selective coding. Ethical approval was received. Results: Fifty-four essays met the inclusion criteria from 241 essays screened for the terms ‘death’, ‘dying’ or ‘palliative’, 22 students gave consent for participation and their 24 essays were included. Saturation of themes was reached. Three overarching themes were identified: emotions, empathy, and experiential and reflective learning. Students emphasised trying to develop a balance between showing empathy and their emotional state. Students learned a lot from clinical encounters and watching doctors manage difficult situations, as well as from their refection during and after the experience. Conclusions: Reflective essays give insights into the way students learn about death, dying and palliative care and how it affects them personally as well as the preparation that is needed to be better equipped to deal with these kinds of experiences. Analysis of the essays enabled the proposal of new strategies to help make them more effective learning tools and to optimise students’ learning from a palliative care attachment

    Cultural animation in health research:An innovative methodology for patient and public involvement and engagement

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    Background A significant challenge in Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement (PPIE) in health research is to include a wide range of opinions and experiences, including from those who repeatedly find themselves at the margins of society. Objective To contribute to the debate around PPIE by introducing a bottom‐up methodology: cultural animation (CA). Cultural Animation is an arts‐based methodology of knowledge co‐production and community engagement which employs a variety of creative and participatory exercises to help build trusting relationships between diverse participants (expert and non‐experts) and democratize the process of research. Design Three CA full‐day workshops for the research project “A Picture of Health.” Participants Each workshop was attended by 20‐25 participants including 4 academics, 5 retired health professionals who volunteered in the local community and 15 community members. Participants ranged in age from 25 to 75 years, and 80% of the participants were women over the age of 60. Results The CA workshops unearthed a diversity of hidden assets, increased human connectivity, led to rethinking of and co‐creating new health indicators and enabled participants to think of community health in a positive way and to consider what can be developed. Discussion Cultural animation encourages participants to imagine and create ideal pictures of health by experimenting with new ways of working together. Conclusion We conclude by highlighting the main advantages to PPIE as follows: CA provides a route to co‐produce research agendas, empowers the public to engage actively with health professionals and make a positive contribution to their community

    Medical students writing on death, dying and palliative care:a qualitative analysis of reflective essays

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    Background Medical students and doctors are becoming better prepared to care for patients with palliative care needs and support patients at the end of life. This preparation needs to start at medical school. Objective To assess how medical students learn about death, dying and palliative care during a clinical placement using reflective essays and to provide insights to improve medical education about end-of-life care and/or palliative care. Methods Qualitative study in which all reflective essays written by third-year medical students in 1 year from a UK medical school were searched electronically for those that included ‘death’, ‘dying’ and ‘palliative care’. The anonymised data were managed using QSR NVivo 10 software, and a systematic analysis was conducted in three distinct phases: (1) open coding; (2) axial coding and (3) selective coding. Ethical approval was received. Results 54 essays met the inclusion criteria from 241 essays screened for the terms ‘death’, ‘dying’ or ‘palliative’; 22 students gave consent for participation and their 24 essays were included. Saturation of themes was reached. Three overarching themes were identified: emotions, empathy and experiential and reflective learning. Students emphasised trying to develop a balance between showing empathy and their emotional state. Students learnt a lot from clinical encounters and watching doctors manage difficult situations, as well as from their refection during and after the experience. Conclusions Reflective essays give insights into the way students learn about death, dying and palliative care and how it affects them personally as well as the preparation that is needed to be better equipped to deal with these kinds of experiences. Analysis of the essays enabled the proposal of new strategies to help make them more effective learning tools and to optimise students’ learning from a palliative care attachment

    Exploring differences in individual and group judgements in standard setting

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    Context Standard setting is critically important to assessment decisions in medical education. Recent research has demonstrated variations between medical schools in the standards set for shared items. Despite the centrality of judgement to criterion-referenced standard setting methods, little is known about the individual or group processes that underpin them. This study aimed to explore the operation and interaction of these processes in order to illuminate potential sources of variability. Methods Using qualitative research, we purposively sampled across UK medical schools that set a low, medium or high standard on nationally shared items, collecting data by observation of graduation-level standard-setting meetings and semi-structured interviews with standard-setting judges. Data were analysed using thematic analysis based on the principles of grounded theory. Results Standard setting occurred through the complex interaction of institutional context, judges’ individual perspectives and group interactions. Schools’ procedures, panel members and atmosphere produced unique contexts. Individual judges formed varied understandings of the clinical and technical features of each question, relating these to their differing (sometimes contradictory) conceptions of minimally competent students, by balancing information and making suppositions. Conceptions of minimal competence variously comprised: limited attendance; limited knowledge; poor knowledge application; emotional responses to questions; ‘test-savviness’, or a strategic focus on safety. Judges experienced tensions trying to situate these abstract conceptions in reality, revealing uncertainty. Groups constructively revised scores through debate, sharing information and often constructing detailed clinical representations of cases. Groups frequently displayed conformity, illustrating a belief that outlying judges were likely to be incorrect. Less frequently, judges resisted change, using emphatic language, bargaining or, rarely, ‘polarisation’ to influence colleagues. Conclusions Despite careful conduct through well-established procedures, standard setting is judgementally complex and involves uncertainty. Understanding whether or how these varied processes produce the previously observed variations in outcomes may offer routes to enhance equivalence of criterion-referenced standards

    Conceptualising and Teaching Biomedical Uncertainty to Medical Students: an Exploratory Qualitative Study

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    Introduction Certainty/uncertainty in medicine is a topic of popular debate. This study aims to understand how biomedical uncertainty is conceptualised by academic medical educators and how it is taught in a medical school in the UK. Methods This is an exploratory qualitative study grounded in ethnographic principles. This study is based on 10 observations of teaching sessions and seven semi-structured qualitative interviews with medical educators from various biomedical disciplines in a UK medical school. The data set was analysed via a thematic analysis. Results Four main themes were identified after analysis: (1) ubiquity of biomedical uncertainty, (2) constraints to teaching biomedical uncertainty, (3) the ‘medic filter’ and (4) fluid distinction: core versus additional knowledge. While medical educators had differing understandings of how biomedical uncertainty is articulated in their disciplines, its presence was ubiquitous. This ubiquity did not translate into teaching due to time constraints and assessment strategies. The ‘medic filter’ emerged as a strategy that educators employed to decide what to include in their teaching. They made distinctions between core and additional knowledge which were defined in varied ways across disciplines. Additional knowledge often encapsulated biomedical uncertainty. Discussion Even though the perspective that knowledge is socially constructed is not novel in medical education, it is neither universally valued nor universally applied. Moving beyond situativity theories and into broader debates in social sciences provides new opportunities to discuss the nature of scientific knowledge in medical education. We invite a move away from situated learning to situated knowledge

    Zingeving in de stadscontext

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    The potential of general practice to support young people who self-harm: a narrative review

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    Background Self-harm in young people is a growing public health concern. Young people commonly present to their GP for help with self-harm, and thus general practice may be a key setting to support young people who have self-harmed. Aim To examine the potential of general practice to support young people aged 10–25 years who have harmed themselves. Design & setting A narrative review of published and grey literature. Method The Scale for the Assessment of Narrative Review Articles (SANRA) was used to guide a narrative review to examine the potential of general practice to support young people who have self-harmed. The evidence is presented textually. Results The included evidence showed that GPs have a key role in supporting young people, and they sometimes relied on gut feeling when handling uncertainty on how to help young people who had self-harmed. Young people described the importance of initial clinician responses after disclosing self-harm, and if they were perceived to be negative, the self-harm could become worse. Conclusion In context of the evidence included, this review found that general practice is a key setting for the identification and management of self-harm in young people; but improvements are needed to enhance general practice care for young people to fulfil its potential

    Images depicting headache pain – a tool to aid the diagnosis of cluster headache: a pilot study

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    Introduction and objective: The diagnosis of primary headaches is based on the International Classification of Headache Disorders (ICHD-3). Cluster headache (CH), a debilitating primary headache, is often misdiagnosed as migraine. In the absence of biological markers, a new visual screening tool with images depicting pain could aid the correct diagnosis of CH. The objective of the study is to test the tool on healthy participants and participants with CH and migraine.Methods: In phase 1, 6 images portraying people with pain were tested on 150 healthy participants. The healthy participants were asked to rate the images as mild, moderate, severe or excruciating pain. In phase 2, the images were further tested on 116 participants with headache (16 participants with CH, 100 participants with migraine). The participants were recruited prospectively from a tertiary headache center between February and May 2017. The participants were asked to choose which image best illustrated their headache attacks.Results: Phase 1 results showed that the images represent a range of headache pain severities from mild to excruciating as rated by healthy participants. They rated two images as excruciating, one image as severe, one image as moderate/severe, one image as moderate and one image as mild. Phase 2 results showed that two-thirds of participants with CH (69%) and half of the participants with migraine (52%) chose an image described as excruciating by the healthy participants.Conclusion: We developed a screening tool with six drawings depicting headache pain severities from mild to excruciating as rated by the healthy participants. Although the images did not differentiate between CH and migraine, the study indicated the potential of using visual aids to assess headache severity
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