Developing a framework for an undergraduate haematology curriculum in a Faculty of Health Sciences

Stefan, Daniela Cristina (Stellenbosch : University of Stellenbosch, 2010-03)

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The Faculty of Health Sciences at Stellenbosch University adopted a new set of guidelines for curriculum design in 1997, emphasising an orientation towards the requirements of the public sector general practice, a holistic approach and exposure to community lifestyle and disease patterns specific to various communities. In order to ensure the anchoring in the realities of the general practice, a family medical practitioner, appointed by the Academy of Family Practice, was included in the curriculum control structure of the faculty. It was further recommended that a family medical practitioner should be included in the curriculum committee of each discipline, where appropriate. The present research, starting from the assumption that the opinion of a single family practitioner is insufficient to determine the adequacy of the curriculum for general medical practice, aimed to conduct a comprehensive needs analysis of all stakeholders in the undergraduate haematology training programme at the Faculty of Health, Stellenbosch University, and to compare the findings with the existing curriculum. To this purpose, the opinions of five adult medicine haematologists, ten paediatric haematologists, four laboratory haematologists, ten interns, fourteen students and twenty general practitioners were surveyed. An open-ended questionnaire on the usefulness of the haematology module for hospital and independent general practice was analysed, using the “coding technique” method. On this basis, a list of subjects was drawn and, using a Delphi method, the participants in the study were asked to rate their importance for practice. The answers to the open-ended questionnaires revealed a few overarching concepts, the most important being the need to structure the material taught in the form of “approaches”, supporting the differential diagnosis, which is the most frequent task of a general practitioner. Among the outcomes identified in the panellists‟ answers, the need to adequately detect and assess the “red flag” signs for haematological cancers was proposed for consideration as an outcome in the next curriculum. The Delphi survey indicated a group of subjects which were rated as most important for practice and another group designated as devoid of utility. The remaining subjects, rated as of moderate importance, could be further classified as diseases usually managed by the general practitioner and pathology which would be referred to a specialist for management. These iv findings were compared with the existing curriculum and the discrepancies were analysed, resulting in a set of proposals towards a framework for a new undergraduate haematology curriculum. For the first time in the literature, as far as can be determined, this research presents outcomes and content for an undergraduate haematology course which were defined and rated for importance by consensus of the curriculum developers, specialists in the field and graduates of the course. The methods tested in this process and some of the trends revealed might be useful for curriculum development in other medical disciplines.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die Fakulteit van Gesondheidswetenskappe by die Universiteit Stellenbosch het in 1997 nuwe riglyne vir kurrikulumontwerp aanvaar. Hierdie riglyne beklemtoon `n bewustheid van die behoeftes van algemene praktyk in die openbare sektor, `n omvattende benadering tot en blootstelling aan die gemeenskapslewenstyl, asook aan siektepatrone eie aan verskillende gemeenskappe. Om te verseker dat die kurrikulum in die werklikhede van algemene praktyk geanker bly, is `n algemene praktisyn, aangestel deur die Akademie van Huisartskunde, ingesluit in die kurrikulum beheerstruktuur van die fakulteit. Dit is verder ook aanbeveel dat, waar van toepassing, `n huisarts in die kurrikulumkomitee van elke dissipline ingesluit moet word. Hierdie navorsing, wat van die veronderstelling gespruit het dat die opinie van `n enkele huisarts onvoldoende is om die toepaslikheid van `n kurrikulum vir algemene praktyk te verseker, het ten doel gestel om `n omvattende analise van behoeftes van alle belanghebbendes in die voorgraadse hematologie-opleidingsprogram by die Fakulteit van Gesondheidswetenskappe, Universiteit van Stellenbosch, te doen en om die bevindings met die bestaande kurrikulum te vergelyk. Die menings van vyf volwasse medisyne hematoloë, tien pediatriese hematoloë, vier laboratorium hematoloë, tien huisdokters, veertien studente en twintig algemene praktisyns is verkry. `n Oop-einde vraelys oor die bruikbaarheid van die hematologie-module vir hospitaal- en onafhanklike algemene praktyk is m.b.v die gekodeerde tegniek ontleed. Op grond hiervan is `n lys onderwerpe gekies en studiedeelnemers is deur van die Delphi-metode gebruik te maak, gevra om die graad van belangrikheid van elkeen aan te dui. Die antwoorde op die oop-einde vraelys het `n paar oorkoepelende konsepte uitgelig. Die belangrikste hiervan was om die materiaal wat gedoseer word te struktureer in die vorm van „benaderings‟, wat die vorming van `n differensiële diagnose ondersteun. Lg. is die algemeenste taak van die algemene praktisyn. Een van die uitkomste wat deur die studiedeelnemers geïdentifiseer is, nl. die vermoë om die `rooi vlag` tekens van hematologiese kankers korrek te bespeur en te assesseer, is voorgestel vir oorweging vir insluiting as `n uitkoms in die volgende kurrikulum.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/3187
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