Monday, June 1, 2015

New From Biomed Central

Svavarsdóttir NH, Sigurðardóttir AK, Sigurðardóttir A. How to become an expert educator: a qualitative study on the view of health professionals with experience in patient education. BMC Med Educ 2015, 15:87  doi:10.1186/s12909-015-0370-x

Background: Health professionals with the level of competency necessary to provide high-quality patient education are central to meeting patients’ needs. However, research on how competencies in patient education should be developed and health professionals trained in them, is lacking. The aim of this study was to investigate the characteristics of an expert educator according to health professionals experienced in patient education for patients with coronary heart disease, and their views on how to become an expert educator. Methods This descriptive qualitative study was conducted through individual interviews with health professionals experienced in patient education in cardiac care. Participants were recruited from cardiac care units and by using a snowball sampling technique. The interviews were audiotaped and transcribed verbatim. The data were analyzed with thematic approaches, using systematic text condensation. Results Nineteen Icelandic and Norwegian registered nurses, physiotherapists, and cardiologists, who had worked in cardiac care for 12 years on average, participated in the study. Being sensitive to the patient’s interests and learning needs, and possessing the ability to tailor the education to each patient’s needs and context of the situation was described as the hallmarks of an expert educator. To become an expert educator, motivation and active participation of the novice educator and a supportive learning environment were considered prerequisites. Supportive educational resources, observation and experiential training, and guidance from experienced educators were given as examples of resources that enhance competence development. Experienced educators expressed the need for peer support, inter-professional cooperation, and mentoring to further develop their competency. Conclusions Expert patient educators were described as those demonstrating sensitivity toward the patient’s learning needs and an ability to individualize the patient’s education. A supportive learning environment, inner motivation, and an awareness of the value of patient education were considered the main factors required to become an expert educator. The experienced educators expressed a need for continuing education and peer support.

Davis R, Ives J, Dunn M. A systematic review of empirical bioethics methodologies. BMC Med Ethics 2015, 16:15  doi:10.1186/s12910-015-0010-3

Background: Despite the increased prevalence of bioethics research that seeks to use empirical data to answer normative research questions, there is no consensus as to what an appropriate methodology for this would be. This review aims to search the literature, present and critically discuss published Empirical Bioethics methodologies.
Methods: MedLine, Web of Science and Google Scholar were searched between 15/02/12 and 16/06/13 to find relevant papers. These were abstract reviewed independently by two reviewers with papers meeting the inclusion criteria subjected to data extraction.

Results: 33 publications (32 papers and one book chapter) were included which contained 32 distinct methodologies. The majority of these methodologies (n = 22) can be classed as either dialogical or consultative, and these represent two extreme ‘poles’ of methodological orientation. Consideration of these results provoked three central questions that are central to the planning of an empirical bioethics study, and revolve around how a normative conclusion can be justified, the analytic process through which that conclusion is reached, and the kind of conclusion that is sought.
Conclusion: When considering which methodology or research methods to adopt in any particular study, researchers need to think carefully about the nature of the claims they wish to generate through their analyses, and how these claims align with the aims of the research. Whilst there are superficial similarities in the ways that identical research methods are made use of, the different meta-ethical and epistemological commitments that undergird the range of methodological approaches adopted rehearse many of the central foundational disagreements that play out within moral philosophy and bioethical analysis more broadly. There is little common ground that transcends these disagreements, and we argue that this is likely to present a challenge for the legitimacy of the bioethical enterprise. We conclude, however, that this heterogeneity ought to be welcomed, but urge those involved in the field to engage meaningfully and explicitly with questions concerning what kinds of moral claim they want to be able to make, about normative justification and the methodological process, and about the coherence of these components within their work

Schneider M, Evans R, Haas M, Leach M, Hawk C, Long C, Cramer GD, Walters O, Vihstadt C, Terhorst L. US chiropractors’ attitudes, skills and use of evidence-based practice: A cross-sectional national survey. Chiropr ManTher 2015, 23:16  doi:10.1186/s12998-015-0060-0

Background: Evidence based practice (EBP) is being increasingly utilized by health care professionals as a means of improving the quality of health care. The introduction of EBP principles into the chiropractic profession is a relatively recent phenomenon. There is currently a lack of information about the EBP literacy level of US chiropractors and the barriers/facilitators to the use of EBP in the chiropractic profession.
Methods: A nationwide EBP survey of US chiropractors was administered online (Nov 2012-Mar 2013) utilizing a validated self-report instrument (EBASE) in which three sub-scores are reported: attitudes, skills and use. Means, medians, and frequency distributions for each of the sub-scores were generated. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the demographic characteristics of the sample. Means and proportions were calculated for all of the responses to each of the questions in the survey.

Results: A total of 1,314 US chiropractors completed the EBASE survey; the sample appeared to be representative of the US chiropractic profession. Respondents were predominantly white (94.3%), male (75%), 47 (+/− 11.6) years of age, and in practice for more than 10 years (60%). EBASE sub-score means (possible ranges) were: attitudes, 31.4 (8–40); skills, 44.3 (13–65); and use, 10.3 (0–24). Survey participants generally held favorable attitudes toward EBP, but reported less use of EBP. A minority of participants indicated that EBP coursework (17%) and critical thinking (29%) were a major part of their chiropractic education. The most commonly reported barrier to the use of EBP was “lack of time”. Almost 90% of the sample indicated that they were interested in improving their EBP skills.
Conclusion: American chiropractors appear similar to chiropractors in other countries, and other health professionals regarding their favorable attitudes towards EBP, while expressing barriers related to EBP skills such as research relevance and lack of time. This suggests that the design of future EBP educational interventions should capitalize on the growing body of EBP implementation research developing in other health disciplines. This will likely include broadening the approach beyond a sole focus on EBP education, and taking a multilevel approach that also targets professional, organizational and health policy domains.

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