Education and Practice
The Education and Practice theme uses co-design and participatory methodologies to support practitioners and students to translate knowledge into practice using digital innovation. Many of our projects focus on scoping the evidence and developing a range of digital resources, enabling practitioners and students to improve the quality of care for service users and carers.
The theme is developing four key areas of activity:
- Technology enhanced learning
- Promoting mental health and wellbeing
- Innovations in assessment
- Simulated learning
Our vision is to facilitate integrated scholarly activity and promote innovation in health care education and practice.
EXAMPLE RESEARCH PROJECTS
Professor Christine Brown Wilson leads this project that supports care home nurses’ resilience to deliver quality person centred care during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Nurses in care homes have had to contend with traumatic events such as increasing deaths of residents, limited clinical support and a reduced workforce placing them at greater risk of poor mental health and wellbeing. This resource will be co-designed with care home nurses to ensure it will meet their needs. It is anticipated that this resource could be further developed for other health care professionals.
This project led by Professor Michael Brown aims to identify LGBTQ+ content within pre-registration nursing and midwifery programmes. Adopting a 2 phase design, phase 1 involves an on-line questionnaire of all Schools of Nursing and Midwifery in the United Kingdom and Ireland of the scope and extend of LGBTQ+ concerns within pre-registration programmes.
Phase 2 involves qualitative interviews with academics responsible for the delivery of pre-registration nursing and midwifery programmes to identify Best Practice regarding LGBTQ+ issues and concerns. The expected outcomes are the identification of Best Practice examples which will guide on the inclusion of LGBTQ+ health in nursing and midwifery pre-registration programmes.
This national multi disciplinary project is led by Dr Gary Mitchell. The aim of this project is to co-design and test a digital resource to support community based nurses to assess and manage the oral health of older people, living with complex conditions, in their own homes.
The digital resource will be developed using existing guidelines (i.e. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence Oral Health) alongside the experience of older people, family members/carers of older people, community nurses and dentists using co-design methodology.
The digital resource will be tested in two local healthcare Trusts within Northern Ireland to assess its usability from the perspective of community-based nurses and its impact on older people living with complex needs in the community.
Research Expertise of Education and Practice Staff:
- Systematic and scoping reviews of the literature
- Policy development
- Promoting resilience in students and health care professionals
- Mental health and wellbeing
- Development of serious games
- Digital Innovations in curricula
- Coproduction in curriculum design
- Simulated learning
- Service user and carer involvement in curriculum and digital design
The aim of the project was to develop a digital game to improve public perception about dementia using disruptive co-design. The project was conducted in three phases ensuring people with dementia were central to each phase of the project. Phase1 comprised focus groups with people living with dementia about facilitators and barriers to living well with dementia.
In Phase 2 we co-designed the digital game to improve public perception of dementia with seven people living with dementia, two dementia advocates, six nursing students and a representative from Focus Games Ltd. Phase 3 piloted the Game with university students and 457 students completed the pre/post questionnaires. We found that the dementia awareness game improved attitudes to dementia. Our findings were highly statistically significant <0.001. We also examined the data to ascertain if experience of caring for someone living with dementia, or prior dementia training attendance, reduced the impact of our dementia game. Our findings were statistically significant for both these groups <0.001.
The team received a rapid impact fund award to support the dissemination of the game. The game is available: https://www.dementiagame.com
A final year nursing student, Stephanie Craig, reflects on her experience in the project here.
The game was also actively distributed to more than 100 organisations in Northern Ireland alongside These activities have culminated in our dementia awareness game being a shortlisted finalist in both the United Kingdom National Dementia Awards and the Queen's University Belfast Staff Excellence Awards. The game has also been endorsed by the Royal College of Nursing as an excellent example of innovative practice led by nurses. A report of this impact is forthcoming.
Mitchell, G., McTurk, V., Carter, G., and Brown Wilson, C. (2020) Emphasise Capability, Not Disability: Exploring Public Perceptions, Facilitators and Barriers to Living Well with Dementia in Northern Ireland. BMC Geriatrics. DOI:https://doi.org/10.1186/s12877-020-01933-w
This cross faculty study led by Dr Amy Wong adopted a co-design approach with 20 assessors across nursing and midwifery, medicine, pharmacy, and education with extensive experience of assessing students in academic and practice settings. The aim of the project was, to create a ‘fit-for-purpose’ roadmap for continuing professional development (CPD) for assessors in making assessment judgements.
In the context of health professions education, universities rely on academic and placement assessors to assess student performance in both university and practice settings. High-stakes assessment has been, and will continue, to play the role as a gatekeeper, while workplace-based assessment has also become a crucial assessment component in student placements. Accountable and defensible assessment decisions are pivotal to provide students with fair outcomes which will have a direct impact on their career progression, and to ensure members of the public are supported by graduates who are safe and competent practitioners. To the best of our knowledge, there is limited research on co-designing CPD resources in assessment.
During the co-design workshops, we identified the best practices in assessment and developed 12 signposts with the associated key principles, which focus on developing the consistency of assessors’ judgements and building assessors’ capacity to enhance the assessment quality and their experience. For example, create and sustain an assessors’ community of practice, and engage assessors in dialogic feedback. These signposts are flexible to be implemented separately, or mixed and matched, to suit the contextual environment.
This study promoted three key messages: using a co-design methodology facilitates the engagement from assessors across disciplines and settings, providing feedback to assessors for CPD purposes is valued, and creating professional learning opportunities through this interdisciplinary CPD roadmap could be impactful. The co-designed roadmap has the potential to transform the CPD practices for assessors which supports the provision of credible judgements of the level of achievement to students and employers. The outcomes of this study will be illustrated in an infographic and disseminated across disciplines at Queen's University Belfast, in the clinical practice settings, and through an academic publication.
The aim of the project was to improve nursing student knowledge, confidence, and practice in relation to caring for people with delirium. Using co-design methodology, the project team worked alongside people who had experienced delirium, specialist nurses and nurse educationalists to design education about delirium.
This led to the co-development of two resources: a two-hour face-to-face blended learning package (synchronous approach) and a 60-minute audio podcast (asynchronous approach). These subsequent interventions were endorsed by the Royal College of Nursing (Older People’s Forum) and students that completed the learning received a ‘Delirium Champion’ certificate. Both educational interventions were evaluated separately using different samples. Our first evaluation (synchronous approach) showed a statistically significant improvement in knowledge, confidence, and practice post-test amongst 206 year one nursing students (P < 0.001). Similarly, our second evaluation (asynchronous approach) showed statistically significant improvements in knowledge, confidence, and practice post-test amongst 298 year one nursing students (<0.001). These resources have now been used across more than 50 clinical/academic sites in the United Kingdom and are part of our year one undergraduate nursing curriculum.
Mitchell G, McVeigh C, Carlisle S, Brown Wilson C. (2020) Evaluation of a co-produced delirium awareness programme for undergraduate nursing students in Northern Ireland: a pre-test/post-test study. BMC Nursing, 19, (34): https://doi.org/10.1186/s12912-020-00427-9
Mitchell G, Scott J, Carter G, Brown Wilson C. (2021) Evaluation of a delirium awareness podcast for undergraduate nursing students in Northern Ireland: a pre−/post-test study. BMC Nursing, 20, (20): https://doi.org/10.1186/s12912-021-00543-0