Research Articles

Perspectives of undergraduate module convenors at a South African academic institution on medical student training in evidence-based health care: a qualitative study

Taryn Young, Anke Rohwer, Jimmy Volmink, Mike Clarke
South African Family Practice | Vol 57, No 6 : November/December| a4317 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/safp.v57i6.4317 | ©
Submitted: 02 July 2015 | Published: 01 November 2015

About the author(s)

Taryn Young, Centre for Evidence-Based Health Care, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa; and Cochrane South Africa, South African Medical Research Council, Cape Town, South Africa
Anke Rohwer, Centre for Evidence-Based Health Care, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa
Jimmy Volmink, Centre for Evidence-Based Health Care, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa; and Cochrane South Africa, South African Medical Research Council, Cape Town, South Africa
Mike Clarke, Northern Ireland Network for Trials Methodology Research, Queen’s University Belfast, Belfast, Ireland

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Abstract

Background: The increasing disease burden in Africa requires medical graduates to have problem-solving abilities. Interviews were conducted to assess module convenors’ perspectives on evidence-based health care (EBHC) teaching and learning.

Methods: Qualitative research methods were used. Faculty convening medical undergraduate teaching modules were purposively sampled. Data collection was done using focus-group or individual interviews. Trained interviewers conducted interviews. Investigators conducted data analysis and interpretation.

Results: Five focus groups and 10 individual interviews were conducted with convenors responsible for theory and clinical modules across various disciplines. Interviewees felt that EBHC teaching and learning were not optimal and indicated varying support for enhancing this. They identified various factors to be considered: contextual factors within the faculty (e.g. recognition for teaching), health sector issues (e.g. clinical workload), access to research, lecturer factors (e.g. competing priorities) and learners (e.g. motivation). They emphasised the key roles of lecturers as role models. Planning together to identify opportunities to integrate teaching and assessment, while ensuring coherence, clear explicit outcomes and promoting faculty development, was regarded as central to strengthening EBHC teaching and learning.

Conclusions: The perspectives of module convenors are key to informing strategies to enhance EBHC teaching and learning.


Keywords

evidence based health care; medical students; teaching; undergraduate

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