Biomedical device design discovery team approach to teaching physiology to undergraduate bioengineering students.
Teaching effectiveness is enhanced by generating student enthusiasm, by using active learning techniques, and by convincing students of the value of acquiring knowledge in the area of study. We have employed a technique to teach physiology to bioengineering students that couples students' enthusiasm for their chosen field, bioengineering, with an active learning process in which students are asked to design a biomedical device to enhance, replace, or create a new cellular or organ system function. Each assignment is designed with specific constraints that serve to direct students' attention to specific areas of study and that require students to create original designs. Preventing students from using existing designs spurred student invention and enthusiasm for the projects. Students were divided into groups or "design discovery teams" as might be done in a biomedical device industry setting. Students then researched the physiological issues that would need to be addressed to produce an acceptable design. Groups met with faculty to brainstorm and to obtain approval for their general design concepts before proceeding. Students then presented their designs to the instructors in a structured, written outline form and to the class as a 10-minute oral presentation. Grades were based on the outline, oral presentation, and peer evaluations (group members anonymously rated contributions of other members of their team). We believe that this approach succeeded in generating enthusiasm for learning physiology by allowing the students to think creatively in their chosen field of study and that it has resulted in students developing a more thorough understanding of difficult physiological concepts than would have been achieved with a traditional didactic lecture approach. (+info)
Functional correlates of musical and visual ability in frontotemporal dementia.
BACKGROUND: The emergence of new skills in the setting of dementia suggests that loss of function in one brain area can release new functions elsewhere. AIMS: To characterise 12 patients with frontotemporal dementia (FTD) who acquired, or sustained, new musical or visual abilities despite progression of their dementia. METHOD: Twelve patients with FTD who acquired or maintained musical or artistic ability were compared with 46 patients with FTD in whom new or sustained ability was absent. RESULTS: The group with musical or visual ability performed better on visual, but worse on verbal tasks than did the other patients with FTD. Nine had asymmetrical left anterior dysfunction. Nine showed the temporal lobe variant of FTD. CONCLUSION: Loss of function in the left anterior temporal lobe may lead to facilitation of artistic or musical skills. Patients with the left-sided temporal lobe variant of FTD offer an unexpected window into the neurological mediation of visual and musical talents. (+info)
Assets-oriented community assessment.
Determining how to promote community health requires that community health workers first assess where the community stands. The authors maintain that Healthy Communities initiatives are better served by assets-oriented assessment methods than by standard "problem-focused" or "needs-based" approaches. An assets orientation allows community members to identify, support, and mobilize existing community resources to create a shared vision of change, and encourages greater creativity when community members do address problems and obstacles. (+info)
Eliminating health disparities among minority women: a report on conference workshop process and outcomes.
A national conference convened in May 2001 explored health disparities among minority women. It included 5 one-hour workshops that randomly assigned each participant to 1 of 4 groups. Groups generated recommendations on conference topics and from these identified priority recommendations. Trained facilitators guided groups through brainstorming and weighted voting processes; individual recommendations were submitted in writing. Participants generated 598 recommendations, 71 of them voted as priorities; these were analyzed to capture participants' "messages." Central themes focused on access issues and cultural incompetence as deterrents to the elimination of health disparities and on education, funding, and community-based, community-driven research as mechanisms for change. Strategies for change included reinventing or expanding the role of minority communities and changing health care itself and "how" it does its work. The essential element in all recommendations was community leadership and control. (+info)
The use of brainstorming for teaching human anatomy.
Interactive teaching techniques have been used mainly in clinical teaching, with little attention given to their use in basic science teaching. With the aim of partially filling this gap, this study outlines an interactive approach to teaching anatomy based on the use of "brainstorming." The results of the students' critique of the teaching techniques are also included. Seventy-five students from the first-year nursing curriculum were tested by a structured questionnaire after three brainstorming sessions. The overall response to these sessions was very positive, indicating that students perceived this interactive technique as both interesting and useful. Furthermore, this approach may provide a useful strategy when learning the clinical courses of the upcoming academic years. (+info)
Factors of home dream recall: a structural equation model.
Previous research has indicated that personality factors such as openness to experience, creativity, visual memory, attitude toward dreams, and sleep behavior is related to home dream recall frequency (DRF). However, a study investigating all areas simultaneously within one sample in order to determine the percentage of variance explained by all variables and to take intercorrelations between the influencing factors into account has not been performed till now. The present study with 444 participants fills this gap. Using several indicators for each of the variables mentioned above, a structural equation model was tested. Although the model fit was satisfying, the four factors which were significantly related to DRF: personality (openness to experience, thin boundaries, absorption), creativity, nocturnal awakenings, and attitude toward dreams, explained only 8.4% of the total variance. As this value is considerably lower than those of studies investigating a single influencing factor and using similar measurement instruments in similar samples, one might speculate about possible expectancy effects in these previous studies, an effect which has been demonstrated for DRF in the laboratory setting. In addition, the small percentage of explained variance of each single factors (<3%) may indicate that other, in this study unmeasured, variables such as sleep duration (state aspect), introspection, and cognitive functioning immediately upon awakening (sleep inertia) show substantial covariance with the interindividual differences in DRF. Future studies should focus on longitudinal aspects in order to differentiate between state versus trait factors (although methodologic issues, e.g. the effect of the measurement technique on DRF itself, have to be clarified) and investigate additional variables which might be associated with DRF (see above). (+info)
Creative problem solving and social cooperation of effective physical therapy practice: a pioneer study and overview.
Action research (AR) has an important role to play in educating physical therapists. Increasing efforts should be encouraged to instigate AR programs in physical therapy practice and clinical education. Such programs commonly require considerable effort and understanding by clinical instructors, and require adoption of new educational methods. AR programs can lead physical therapists and clinicians to be more questioning and reflective in evaluating practical questions regarding patient therapy and education. The purpose of this article is to educate the readers on the importance of AR and to provide a few relevant references on that topic. A specific study is described in this paper in which physical therapy clinical instructors participated in a structured workshop designed to demonstrate the values of AR and how such values can be incorporated in teaching their students. AR can lead to improved therapist-patient interaction and help solve specific practical problems arising during therapy sessions. (+info)
Socioeconomic position in early life, birth weight, childhood cognitive function, and adult mortality. A longitudinal study of Danish men born in 1953.
OBJECTIVE: To examine the relation between socioeconomic position in early life and mortality in young adulthood, taking birth weight and childhood cognitive function into account. DESIGN: A longitudinal study with record linkage to the Civil Registration System and Cause of Death Registry. The data were analysed using Cox regression. SETTING: The metropolitan area of Copenhagen, Denmark. SUBJECTS: 7493 male singletons born in 1953, who completed a questionnaire with various cognitive measures, in school at age 12 years, and for whom birth certificates with data on birth and parental characteristics had been traced manually in 1965. This population was followed up from April 1968 to January 2002 for information on mortality. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Mortality from all causes, cardiovascular diseases, and violent deaths. RESULTS: Men whose fathers were working class or of unknown social class at time of birth had higher mortality rates compared with those whose fathers were high/middle class: hazard ratio 1.39 (95% CI 1.15 to 1.67) and 2.04 (95% CI 1.48 to 2.83) respectively. Birth weight and childhood cognitive function were both related to father's social class and inversely associated with all cause mortality. The association between father's social class and mortality attenuated (HR(working class)1.30 (1.08 to 1.56); HR(unknown class)1.81 (1.30 to 2.52)) after control for birth weight and cognitive function. Mortality from cardiovascular diseases and violent deaths was also significantly higher among men with fathers from the lower social classes. CONCLUSION: The inverse association between father's social class at time of birth and early adult mortality remains, however somewhat attenuated, after adjustment for birth weight and cognitive function. (+info)