AffiliationRadiology and Interventional Radiology, The Christie National Health Service (NHS) Foundation Trust, Manchester, GBR
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AbstractBackground and Objectives Patients are recruited to act as educators, sharing experiences of their illness to facilitate active student learning. At our institution, cancer patient educators have been recruited to participate in a weekly teaching session for students. Our study was designed to assess the benefits that partaking in medical education confers on patients who were treated for cancer, as well as explore their motivations for becoming educators and how we can improve their experiences in the future. Methodology Our study used a qualitative exploratory research design, with four current patient educators being selected to participate. The interviews were conducted virtually and were designed to allow patients the opportunity to provide a rich narrative of their experiences. Their accounts were transcribed using built-in transcription software and analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA). IPA is an in-depth analytical method used to identify common themes between patients' experiences and explore why these themes exist. Results Four superordinate themes, each with its subthemes were identified following analysis of patient transcripts: the perceived success of the session (relationship between patient educator and facilitator, willingness of students to participate, organisation and planning of the session), motivations for becoming a patient educator (wanting to give something back, personal attributes making them suitable for the role and improving experiences of future patients), perceived benefits of engaging in medical education (improvement in mental health and engaging with medical students) and suggested improvements for the session (logistics and recruitment). Conclusions Being a cancer patient educator offers significant benefits for patients' well-being, particularly in mental health. Cancer patient educators are motivated by the need to give something back to the staff and institution where they were treated. The educators also referred to improving care for future patients by educating students about negative experiences they encountered and how these could have been avoided. Finally, educators suggested improvements for future sessions by addressing the length of the sessions and having a formal recruitment process.
CitationFrost J, Teodorescu-Arghezi E, Anderson D, Bhatt L. Exploring Why Cancer Patients Engage Into Medical Education. Cureus. 2023 Mar;15(3):e36358. PubMed PMID: 37082490. Pubmed Central PMCID: PMC10110408. Epub 2023/04/21. eng.
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