Medical Education - Theses
Now showing items 1-12 of 15
Exploring physiotherapy clinician-educator beliefs about their teaching role and their preferences for their development as educators.
There is strong professional demand for physiotherapy clinical educators (CEs) to facilitate positive student learning experiences for physiotherapy students and ensure high professional standards of physiotherapy. It is well known that the quality of clinical teaching is determined by the educational rather than the clinical expertise of CEs. Within the public healthcare context, inhouse professional development (PD) programs of teaching, are the primary means of developing CEs’ teaching expertise. However, for PD to effectively motivate changes to teaching practice, it must do more than introduce teaching tips and strategies. It needs to resonate with CEs’ beliefs about their teaching practice. The aims of this research were to explore physiotherapy Clinician-Educator (CE) beliefs about their teaching role and effective teaching practice and to use this understanding to inform inhouse PD programs to develop teaching skills. Grounded in a constructivist and interpretivist approach and using mixed methods forty physiotherapy CEs at St Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne, (SVHM) completed the Conceptions and Learning Teaching (COLT) questionnaire. The COLT is a reliable and validated tool that was used to explore CE teaching beliefs. Subsequently, CE beliefs of teaching were further explored in two focus groups, comprised of eighteen CEs. The focus groups were allocated according to teaching experience; early career CEs with less than five years of teaching experience and experienced CEs with five or more years of teaching experience. Thematic analysis of focus group transcripts revealed CE teaching beliefs varied significantly between CEs and generally reflected the development of their identities as educators, relative to their identities as clinicians. Three levels of educator identity emerged; weak, intermediate and strong. Each level exposed differences in CE interest, motivation and engagement with learning about teaching. The translation of this research to PD programming at SVHM included the development of a multi-tiered framework for PD. This introduced a range of learning activities that accommodated for different CE learning needs and levels of identity as educator. The implications of this research when combined with the broader education literature, are that developing an improved understanding of CE beliefs about teaching within PD has the potential to improve PD program design in the preparation and implementation phases. There appear to be benefits for CEs in re-aligning PD content to better match CE learning needs, motivation levels and learning preferences. In addition, acknowledging differences in levels of identity as an educator, discussing CE concerns and supporting them to negotiate contextual barriers to implementing new teaching strategies may improve translation of learning to practice. Future research may focus on specific PD techniques to facilitate changes in identity level as an educator. This research contributes to the understanding of CE identity and teaching beliefs in the development of further teaching expertise.
The indigenous health agenda in medical education
This thesis describes the indigenous health agenda as a unique landscape located within the wider field of medical education. The indigenous health agenda offers medical educators the opportunity to contribute to indigenous health and wellbeing. The thesis reviews the commitments of medical schools in Aotearoa New Zealand and Australia to the indigenous health agenda and asks how these commitments are currently being enacted and can best be realised in future. The research identifies an indigenous rights to health approach as under-utilised and potentially beneficial. Using Kaupapa Māori methodology a research study consisting of thirty-two semi-structured interviews (28 individual, two joint, and two focus group interviews) was undertaken across two research phases. In Phase One, key informant interviews were conducted to gain insight into stakeholder perceptions of medical school commitments to the indigenous health agenda. In Phase Two, a case study was carried out at The University of Auckland Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, in which key informants discussed the relevance and potential applications of Phase One findings. Thematic analysis was used to encode and order data. Study findings establish the viability of a rights approach, and bring into focus drivers of the indigenous health agenda, obstacles to the indigenous health agenda, and strategic pathways for the indigenous health agenda. The indigenous health agenda is redefined as building a strong indigenous presence in medical schools via four strategic pathways - indigenous knowledge and information, indigenous process and practice, indigenous personnel, and indigenous resource base - and transforming institutions to enable that presence to have impact. When the four strategic pathways are applied across the domains of clinical teaching and learning, cultural understanding and critical awareness, community relations, and indigenous leadership and organisational autonomy, a 4 X 4 table of the indigenous health agenda is developed. The indigenous health agenda is then understood to consist of ends, means, and motives. The ends are to reduce indigenous health inequities and contribute to indigenous health and wellbeing. The practical means are to develop indigenous presence within and across pathways and domains in medical education. The motives are human rights to health and more specifically and powerfully, indigenous rights to health. Developing each facet of the indigenous health agenda is a task still to be achieved, as is mastering the complex dynamics of equitable partnerships between medical schools and indigenous communities, and between indigenous leaders and their non-indigenous allies. Even so, the thesis predicts a bright future for better understanding and further practical developments of the indigenous health agenda in Aotearoa New Zealand and Australian medical schools.
Health self-care using self-quantification : a framework for formalising research and practice
This PhD thesis examines self-quantification using apps and wearable devices –for short, self-quantification systems (SQS) – specifically for health self-care. Health self-quantification (SQ) is a way of working in which, by using SQS, people can collect, manage and reflect on personal health data in order to gain a better understanding of their own body, behaviour, and interaction with the world around them. A literature review found many unknowns about how SQS are used for health self-care, what constructs could describe the use of SQS and related effects on individuals’ health outcomes, and how such effects could be modelled. The key challenge addressed by this thesis is whether the data management and health management activities within health self-quantification and their constructs can be described comprehensively in order to formalise the research and practice of health self-quantification. This thesis has developed a framework called the health SQ activity framework based on activity theory (AT) and patient activation theory (PAT), to address this challenge. Mixed methods were used to build, test and refine the framework. This framework is important because it is the first step to operationalise health SQ fully. This may in turn benefit a variety of stakeholders: biomedical researchers, developers, health informaticians, healthcare professionals, and personal users who seek to study or make changes in health outcomes. Future research using the framework across a range of conditions and contexts will generate more rigorous evidence about health outcomes from SQS use.
Resonating voices: the joy of hearing and being heard Hearing impaired young adults as vocal trainers
This thesis examines the creation of public voice workshops for young deaf people by a group of hearing impaired young adults experienced in actor vocal training. The researcher takes on the roles of actor vocal trainer and researcher and engages the hearing impaired adults as participant researchers on a project called Let It Out. At the heart of the thesis, lies the complex relationship between the skill development of the actor vocal training techniques and the group’s ability to authorise, embody and transfer these techniques as deaf vocal trainers. The methodology of participatory action research through performative enquiry is used to analyse the pedagogy and the impact of the actor vocal training techniques. The study documents an approach to applying actor vocal training techniques, which enables a group of hearing impaired young adults to co-construct knowledge about the voice. The research demonstrates that through the embodied and performative pedagogy of actor vocal training, ensemble practice and kinaesthetic learning, a group of hearing impaired young adults becomes a self-empowering community of practice with a shared sense of vocal identity. The thesis proposes that this kind of embodied and performative pedagogy reconfigures the concept of what is legitimate knowledge of the non-hearing voice when it is enacted through the lived body of a hearing impaired person.
Communication performance in the career medical interview: a new model for preparation
The career medical interview is rare in that it is a central discriminator for aspirant doctors and trainees. Not only does the outcome determine the future job prospects for the candidate, but it also decides access to continued education and training. Despite the importance of the interview and these tensions, little training is provided to aspirants and there are often conflicting messages. Furthermore, the interview is not a reliable test measure; it is susceptible to a range of bias and rating difficulties. Additionally, the number of places is outweighed by the number of potential applicants, hence adding further tension to the process. One possible outcome of the lack of training programs specific to the career medical interview is the susceptibility to impression management. Impression management is where a candidate intentionally influences the outcome of an interview by engaging in the active manipulation of their image portrayal. At worst, candidates might engage in faking (where facts are made up or deceitful responses are given). Presently, little is known about the impact or strategies of medical candidates and impression management in the career medical interview. It is known that a key factor in successful career interview performance is the management of anxiety. Too often, anxiety in regards to the interview or communication apprehension can cause distorted behaviour. This may result in excellent candidates being unsuccessful not because they may not be the best candidates, but because they were unable to manage their anxiety sufficiently well. This can result in clinical and training impacts if the wrong candidates are selected. This thesis successfully proposes a new model for communication training for the career medical interview to address these tensions. Drawing on the body of research known as applied theatre, a new training model is developed and tested using psychometric scales designed to measure anxiety. Kirkpatrick’s model of measuring training effect is utilised. This thesis also draws new insight into existing training strategies used by candidates undertaking interviews in Australian medical contexts as well as capturing data in regards to impression management being utilised by currently successful surgical trainees.
The implementation of generic skills in Vietnamese universities: facilitators and inhibitors
This study investigated the question, What factors influenced the implementation of generic skills (GS) in Vietnamese universities? taking into account the perspectives and experiences of university leaders and academics. The Business Administration programs of six diverse Vietnamese universities were used as case studies to examine this question. This study is significant because it examined GS implementation in a developing non-English speaking country with different higher education (HE) contexts and values, whereas most studies about GS implementation derive from Western countries. Thus, it expands our understandings about GS implementation in different HE contexts. It also points out implications for Vietnamese universities to move forward with developing GS. The study employed a multiple qualitative case study approach to capture diverse institutional perspectives on GS implementation processes within the Business schools. There were 69 interviews conducted with university and school leaders, disciplinary and general skills teachers, and staff members within the Youth Union and its associates (YUA). Additionally, relevant information from the universities’ websites, documents collected from participants, and field notes were used. First, data were analysed for each case study using a content analysis approach. Then a cross-case analysis was conducted to highlight similarities and differences in GS implementation among the universities, which also revealed major factors influencing the implementation. The study found that contextual factors significantly influenced GS implementation in the investigated Vietnamese universities. At the national level, the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) instigated several concurrently-occurring reforms during and prior to this study. In most of the case studies, the other reforms were regulated by the MOET and linked to institutional privileges once completed, whereas GS implementation was not. This led to university leaders focusing on other reforms and delaying or not prioritising GS implementation. Second, university and school leaders found the MOET’s regulations of credits for a program an obstacle for integrating the selected GS into the curriculum. Hence, they involved the YUA extra-curricular activities as an integral component of GS implementation strategy, to compensate for the lack of curriculum autonomy. Third, GS were largely conceived as developing work-readiness skills for students, which is consistent with the industrial training focus of Vietnamese HE. This meant that in the School of Business of the six universities, developing GS for students occurred primarily in work-integrated learning. However, according to many participants, a lack of disciplinary teacher engagement and connection with industries reduced the effectiveness of work-integrated learning. The lack of connection with industries also affected the skills development activities that the YUA offered students. University D stood out in this study as a successful university in developing GS. This was due to their leadership that effectively built teacher capacity and actively supported teachers to engage with GS development in their classes. Linkages with industries, institutional culture that made GS a priority, and the curriculum autonomy granted by the MOET, which were not evident in the other five universities at the time of research, also enabled the progress of GS implementation in this university. This thesis argues that curriculum autonomy, institutional leadership and university-industry linkages are important for the successful implementation of GS in Vietnamese universities.
Leading schools for innovation and success: five case studies of Australian principals creating innovative school cultures
This thesis explores the role of principals in developing, leading and sustaining innovative and successful schools. From multiple perspective case studies in five Victorian government primary and secondary schools, a model of leadership was developed which provides a conceptual framework for those aspiring to lead similar schools.
Participatory health through social media in chronic disease: a framework for research and practice
As participatory health develops, healthcare as a whole continues to cautiously embrace social media and the vast possibilities they can bring. They may be useful to transform the management of people living with chronic disease by enabling them to be more active participants and shared-decision makers in their own care. Unfortunately, limited definitive evidence exists indicating that social media use can improve health outcomes, nor is research mature enough to have established stringent methodologies for examining social media in this context. Unlike a variety of evidence-based guidelines suggesting best practice for an array of chronic diseases, evidence that could underpin guidelines for use of social media remains inadequate. There are many unknowns, for example: How social media are used as part of self-management, what mechanisms underpin social media’s therapeutic potential, the health outcomes and other effects most likely to be impacted by social media, and whether social media can form an effective part of management in the clinical setting. The key challenge addressed by this thesis is whether criteria and methods for generating and evaluating evidence about health outcomes from social media use can be defined. A framework for research and practice has been developed, tested and refined to address this challenge. With further research using the framework across a range of conditions and contexts, evidence about patient-reported outcomes from social media use will grow. This will improve evidence-based decision-making about social media and ultimately benefit a variety of stakeholders: patients, clinicians, health researchers and health informaticians.
In pursuit of belonging: a socio-ecological perspective to investigating school belonging in secondary school settings
Belonging is an essential aspect of psychological functioning. Schools offer unique opportunities to improve belonging for school-aged children through a broad network of groups and systems. Although research generally supports the importance of belonging for good mental health, research specifically on school belonging in educational settings has been fragmented and diluted by inconsistency in the use of terminology. The research of this thesis is comprised of three studies exploring belonging in schools through a socio-ecological perspective. In the first study, an extensive review of the literature was conducted. The aim was to respond to the problem statement: ‘What are the main themes that influence perceptions of school belonging in a secondary school setting?’ A systematic review identified seven themes which influence school belonging at the student level during adolescence in educational settings: academic motivation, emotional instability, personal characteristics, parent support, peer support, teacher support, and gender. Meta-analysis was then used to examine the effect sizes of the seven themes. With the exception of gender, all themes reported medium to large effect sizes, indicating that the themes identified are relevant and important factors with respect to fostering school belonging. These remaining six themes could be conceptualised into individual level themes (e.g., academic motivation, emotional instability, and personal characteristics) and microsystem level themes (e.g., parent support, peer support, and teacher support), and thus form the basis of a preliminary socio-ecological framework of school belonging. A second study was performed to investigate the priorities of secondary schools at the mesosystem level of a socio-ecological framework to examine whether school belonging was a theme found in school vision and mission statements in Victoria, Australia. A stratified sample of secondary school vision and mission statements across 308 schools was analysed using emergent coding and frequency analysis. Findings revealed that the theme of academic motivation was cited significantly more frequently than any other theme and that the themes of school belonging and mental health were cited by over half of the schools sampled. Given the importance of academic motivation for the schools sampled, a third study investigated the same school vision and mission statements to assess whether school belonging was related to student achievement. It was hypothesised that vision and mission statements endorsing greater levels of school belonging would be positively related to academic achievement at the macrosystem level. Using language analysis, the results showed a non-significant relationship between school belonging and achievement. The findings from the overall thesis are presented using a socio-ecological framework of school belonging, which outlines five levels of interconnected layers within an ecology that supports school belonging. This framework may be useful in improving perceptions of school belonging for secondary students through the design of policy, pedagogy, and teacher training. This PhD research makes an original contribution to the field of school belonging by applying a socio-ecological perspective and using innovative research methods. It encourages school leaders and educators to foster students’ sense of belonging by building qualities within the students and by changing school systems and processes.
Engineering articular cartilage from human infrapatellar fat pad stem cells for transplantation therapy
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have shown promise in cartilage tissue engineering due to their unlimited capacity for self-renewal and capability to differentiate into cartilage tissue lineage under certain physiological or experimental conditions. In this thesis, we harvested MSCs from human infrapatellar fat pad tissue (hIPFP) and further fully characterised using flow cytometry. Human IPFP-derived MSCs at passage three (P3) show good homogeneity for MSCs cluster differentiation (CD) markers including CD29, CD44, CD73, CD90, and CD105. Hyaline articular cartilage repair is a significant challenge in orthopaedics and traditional therapeutic options result in inferior outcomes. We believe traditional methods can be improved through applications based on three-dimension (3D) culture systems and tissue engineering strategies. In this thesis, we planned to investigate the chondrogenic potential of hIPFP-derived MSCs, stimulated by TGFβ3 and BMP6, over 7, 14 and 28 day in vitro in 3D pellet culture, a 3D printed chitosan scaffold and a 3D scaffold comprising methacrylated hyaluronic acid and methacrylated gelatin (called HA/GelMA). Therefore, endpoints included histology staining, immunohistochemistry, immunofluorescence, and temporal changes in expression of specific chondrogenic genes using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). In vitro 3D pellet culture maintained cells to be in close proximity to each other and promoted cell aggregation that mimics the cellular condensation process within native cartilage tissue. Furthermore, research has shown the potential of 3D biomaterial scaffolds for providing a suitable environment for chondrogenic induction and significantly enhancing the proliferation, differentiation, and chondrocytic extracellular matrix synthesis by MSCs. Collaborators at the Intelligent Polymer Research Institute (IPRI) at the Uiversity of Wollongong have developed extrusion printing for diverse bioengineering projects and this technique has developed for provision of both 3D chitosan scaffolds and 3D hyaluronic acid/biogel scaffolds for this project. The biocompatibility of chitosan and its structural similarity with glycosaminoglycan make it attractive for cartilage tissue engineering. Also, methacrylated HA and gelatin polymers were utilised to produce UV- crosslinkable HA/GelMA scaffold. A cartilage extracellular matrix component, HA, is the main non-sulphated glycosaminoglycan and offers a promise candidate for engineering of cartilage. In all three types of cultures (pellet, chitosan and HA/GelMA), over 14–28 days, clusters of encapsulated chondrocytes formed. Collagen type 2 and proteoglycan production were confirmed using immunohistochemistry and immunoflourescence. Chondrogenic lineage markers including: SRY-related transcription factor (SOX9), collagen type 2 alpha 1 (COL2A1), and aggrecan (ACAN) gene expression increased significantly over the time course. We reported that chitosan and HA/GelMA scaffolds enhance and increase the efficiency of chondrogenesis in our model. Finally, advanced microarray technique was conducted to provide novel informations about overall gene expressions during chondrogenesis across all three cultures. This is the first time that in vitro microarray has been used in the assessment of the chondrogenic differentiation of hIPFP-derived MSCs cultured in 3D pellet and seeded into chitosan and HA/GelMA scaffolds. Microarray gene analysis requires high-end programming for assessment of the test statistics that show whether a particular gene or a set of related genes are highly regulated (up- or down-regulated). Another challenge is to select a ‘ranking of expressed genes’ that may be relevant to a particular set of experimental conditions or of particular interest from a biological perspective (e.g. a particular metabolic pathway or a set of apoptotic genes). Therefore, we have successfully demonstrated in vitro production of hyaline-like cartilage from infrapatellar fat pad (IPFP)-derived MSCs in 3D culture. Microarray has provided novel informations concerning genes involved in chondrogenesis of hIPFP- derived MSCs and our approach offers a viable strategy for generating clinically relevant cartilage for therapeutic use.
An examination of evaluation of capacity development: application of the Capacity Development Evaluation Framework
The purpose of this research was to support improvements in the quality of evaluations of capacity development initiatives in the international development sector. These improvements should enable greater contribution of evaluation findings to improved capacity development initiatives. To achieve this, the research is designed to determine whether the application of one of the available frameworks assists the evaluation of capacity development initiatives. Adoption of an effective capacity development approach is seen as critical to reducing poverty through international development assistance activities (World Bank, 2005). As a result, global annual investment in capacity development now exceeds USD30 billion (World Bank Institute, 2012). However, capacity development results have been questionable, and evaluation findings have contributed little to addressing this due to their poor quality. Therefore, there is an urgent need to improve the quality of evaluations of capacity development. To assist improve the quality of capacity development evaluations, this research tested a framework (the Capacity Development Evaluation (CDE) Framework) for evaluation of capacity development to determine whether it: (i) provided the information and (ii) demonstrated the characteristics stakeholders required, and (iii) addressed the weaknesses with evaluations of capacity development identified in the literature. To complete this, two distinct research phases were adopted. The first phase identified the information users of evaluation findings required from an evaluation and the characteristics they wanted a framework to demonstrate. The second phase then sought to identify whether application of the CDE Framework assists the evaluation of capacity development initiatives. In Phase 2, the rationale for selecting the CDE Framework from the available frameworks and the rationale for adopting a case study approach are explained and three case studies presented. These case studies capture initiatives of different sizes and aid modalities, which support different sectors in different countries. These initiatives were also characterised by different management structures, levels of resources for M&E and the stage in the project life cycle at which the CDE Framework was introduced. As each stakeholder may perceive the value of a framework differently, this research has adopted an interpretivist approach using qualitative methods to obtain the rich data required for both Phase 1 and 2. Care has been taken to identify and include in both Phases representatives from all intended user groups, thus avoiding the narrow perspective inherent in the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) Criteria consequent on their development being undertaken solely by donors. Reflecting the role of the intended user in determining the value of the framework, the criteria used to assess the quality of this research were those identified by intended users: the robustness of the research and transferability of the research findings. A range of methods have been adopted to enable these quality criteria to be met. Data was collected from those involved in implementing or using evaluations through semi-structured interviews. In addition, for each case study, data was collected from documents prepared for either the partner, donor or implementing team. Draft findings for each case study and each research stage were provided to all involved and others who had expressed interest. Findings were also presented at a series of stakeholder workshops. In addition, findings were progressively presented at relevant conferences and published in a peer reviewed journal. This formed part of an extensive member checking and peer review process. The research found that the CDE Framework provided most of the information and demonstrated the characteristics required by stakeholders. Users of the CDE Framework believed that it had significantly improved both the evaluation and the quality of the initiative. Application of the CDE Framework had addressed the weaknesses with previous evaluations identified in the literature. Significantly, the Framework had enabled early identification of what was not working on each initiative. As a result of these factors, many who had used the CDE Framework on the case studies had already applied the Framework elsewhere. This research clearly demonstrated that application of the CDE Framework assists the evaluation of capacity development initiatives. This was through the simplicity of the Framework which facilitates clarity and shared understanding, and provision of both performance and process information. In addition, the research has addressed a number of areas in the literature where there has been an absence of information. The research also identified that the DAC Criteria do not meet the information needs of users.
Narrative windows into student writer identities
The purpose of this study was to explore the identities and possibilities of identities constructed by a group of Year Five students in their stories. These stories were originally published in ‘Pigeons: Stories in the Post Volume II’ in 2010. This case study focused on three stories from this publication which were analysed using the new Identity Discourse Analysis Tool (adapted from Gee’s (2005) Discourse Analysis Approach); Thematic Analysis (Braun & Clarke, 2006) and the Three Dimensions of Viewing (Callow, 2005) model. The aim of the analysis was to reveal the identities (primary building task of language) and to consider the role language segments (secondary building tasks of language) and thematic contexts played in the identity construction process. The identities created by the student writers in their imagined storyworlds were a product of a complex interaction between narrative thematic contexts and secondary building tasks of language.