Rheumatology education for undergraduate nursing, physiotherapy and occupational therapy students in the UK: Standards, challenges and solutions
Hewlett, S., Clarke, B., O'Brien, A., Hammond, A., Ryan, S., Kay, L., Richards, P. and Almeida, C. (2008) Rheumatology education for undergraduate nursing, physiotherapy and occupational therapy students in the UK: Standards, challenges and solutions. Rheumatology, 47 (7). pp. 1025-1030. ISSN 1462-0324
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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/rheumatology/ken139
Objectives: Rheumatological conditions are common, thus nurses (Ns) occupational therapists (OTs) and physiotherapists (PTs) require at least basic rheumatology knowledge upon qualifying. The aim of this study was to develop a core set of teaching topics and potential ways of delivering them. Methods: A modified Delphi technique was used for clinicians to develop preliminary core sets of teaching topics for each profession. Telephone interviews with educationalists explored their views on these, and challenges and solutions for delivering them. Inter-professional workshops enabled clinicians and educationalists to finalize the core set together, and generate methods for delivery. Results: Thirty-nine rheumatology clinicians (12N, 14OT, 13PT) completed the Delphi consensus, proposing three preliminary core sets (N71 items, OT29, PT26). Nineteen educationalists (6N, 7OT, 6PT) participated in telephone interviews, raising concerns about disease-specific vs generic teaching and proposing many methods for delivery. Three inter-professional workshops involved 34 participants (clinicians: N12, OT9, PT5; educationalists: N2, OT3, PT2; Patient 1) who reached consensus on a single core set comprising six teaching units: Anatomy and Physiology; Assessment; Management and Intervention; Psychosocial Issues; Patient Education; and the Multi-disciplinary Team, recommending some topics within the units receive greater depth for some professions. An innovative range of delivery options was generated plus two brief interventions: a Rheumatology Chat Show and a Rheumatology Road Show. Conclusions: Working together, clinicians and educationalists proposed a realistic core set of rheumatology topics for undergraduate health professionals. They proposed innovative delivery methods, with collaboration between educationalists, clinicians and patients strongly recommended. These potential interventions need testing.