In an editorial in Nursing Philosophy late last year, Derek Sellman wrote a piece that will resonate with a lot of people frustrated by the corporatization of health care; ‘I retain a deep distrust of moving forward as a spindiom (spin idiom, spindiom, get it?)…The primary values of education and health care are not those of the corporation’ (p.156).
Sellman, D. (2014). Moving forward in nursing. Nursing Philosophy : An International Journal for Healthcare Professionals, 15(3), 155-6. doi:10.1111/nup.12059.
Reviewing research papers
In the same edition of Nursing Philosophy, Martin Lipscomb asks ‘how much understanding of the research process is enough for a reader. This question is a really pertinent one to those of us who try to teach students and our colleagues how to critically analyse research.
When appraising research papers, how much understanding is enough? More specifically, in deciding whether research results can inform practice, do appraisers need to substantively understand how findings are derived or is it sufficient simply to grasp that suitable analytic techniques were chosen and used by researchers? The degree or depth of understanding that research appraisers need to attain before findings can legitimately/sensibly inform practice is underexplored. In this paper it is argued that, where knowledge/justified beliefs derived from research evidence prompt actions that materially affect patient care, appraisers have an epistemic duty to demand high (maximal) rather than low (minimal) levels of understanding regards finding derivation (i.e. appraisers have a duty to seek a superior epistemic situation). If this argument holds assumptions about appraiser competence/ability and the feasibility of current UK conceptions of evidence based practice are destabilized.
Lipscomb, M. (2014). Research report appraisal: How much understanding is enough? Nursing Philosophy : An International Journal for Healthcare Professionals. doi:10.1111/nup.12054.
Is health professional education failing?
In the journal Education for Health, Jean-Jacques Guilbert asks ‘Why is it taking so long for healthcare professional education to become relevant and effective? What can be done?’
For about a half century the World Health Organization (WHO), supported by the literature in the field of health personnel education, has argued for the benefits of a learner-centered and community-oriented approach to professional education. Nevertheless, change has not happened in the vast majority of schools and countries. This paper describes the obstacles and constraints to change in health professional education: Obsolete administrative rules, the low profile of public health, the lack of real decision power of faculty, a dearth of faculty trained in the field of education, the arbitrary separation between so-called basic sciences and clinical practice, the disciplinary orientation of learning objectives, a lack of explicit definition of desirable professional competencies, and, above all, too little value placed on the evaluation of educational programs. The recent literature continues to argue for change but action does not follow. Only very few training institutions currently put newer approaches into practice. The university culture remains an environment that stifles change.
Guilbert, J. (2014). Why is it taking so long for healthcare professional education to become relevant and effective? What can be done? Education for Health, 27(1), 59-63.
Physiotherapy research in Switzerland
And from our own CPN member Veronika Schoeb – who has just moved to work in the Physiotherapy Department at Hong Kong Polytechnic University – this paper published in Physiotherapy Research International:
How do Patients, Politicians, Physiotherapists and Other Health Professionals View Physiotherapy Research in Switzerland? A Qualitative Study
Since 2002, the professional education for Swiss physiotherapists has been upgraded to a tertiary educational level. With this change, the need for research related to professional practice has become more salient. The elaboration of research priorities is seen as a possible way to determine the profession’s needs, to help coordinate research collaborations and to address expectations regarding physiotherapy. There is still limited evidence about stakeholders’ views with regard to physiotherapy research. The objective of this study was to investigate key stakeholders’ opinions about research in physiotherapy in Switzerland.
Schoeb, V., Rau, B., Nast, I., Schmid, S., Barbero, M., Tal, A., & Kool, J. (2014). How do patients, politicians, physiotherapists and other health professionals view physiotherapy research in switzerland? A qualitative study. Physiother. Res. Int., 19(2), 79-92. doi:10.1002/pri.1560.