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Phenomenographic study of basic science understanding-senior medical students' conceptions of fatigue
Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Studies in Adult, Popular and Higher Education. Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences.
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Education and Adult Learning. Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences.
Linköping University, Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Radiology. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
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2013 (English)In: Education for Health, ISSN 1357-6283, E-ISSN 1469-5804, Vol. 26, no 3, 156-163 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

INTRODUCTION: Helping students learn to apply their newly learned basic science knowledge to clinical situations is a long-standing challenge for medical educators. This study aims to describe how medical students' knowledge of the basic sciences is construed toward the end of their medical curriculum, focusing on how senior medical students explain the physiology of a given scenario. Methods A group of final-year medical students from two universities was investigated. Interviews were performed and phenomenographic analysis was used to interpret students' understanding of the physiology underlying the onset of fatigue in an individual on an exercise bicycle.

RESULTS: Three categories of description depict the qualitatively different ways the students conceptualized fatigue. A first category depicts well integrated physiological and bio-chemical knowledge characterized by equilibrium and causality. The second category contains conceptions of finite amount of substrate and juxtaposition of physiological concepts that are not fully integrated. The third category exhibits a fragmented understanding of disparate sections of knowledge without integration of basic science and clinical knowledge.

DISCUSSION: Distinctive conceptions of fatigue based with varying completeness of students' understanding characterized the three identified categories. The students' conceptions of fatigue were based on varying understanding of how organ systems relate and of the thresholds that determine physiological processes. Medical instruction should focus on making governing steps in biological processes clear and providing opportunity for causal explanations of clinical scenarios containing bio-chemical as well as clinical knowledge. This augments earlier findings by adding descriptions in terms of the subject matter studied about how basic science is applied by students in clinical settings.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
The Network:Towards Unity for Health , 2013. Vol. 26, no 3, 156-163 p.
Keyword [en]
Phenomenography, problem-based learning, qualitative methodology, student learning, undergraduate medical education
National Category
Clinical Medicine
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-110130DOI: 10.4103/1357-6283.125990PubMedID: 25001348OAI: diva2:743015
Available from: 2014-09-03 Created: 2014-09-03 Last updated: 2015-11-09Bibliographically approved

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Dahlgren, Lars OweHult, HåkanWirell, StaffanLedin, Torbjörn
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Studies in Adult, Popular and Higher EducationFaculty of Educational SciencesEducation and Adult LearningRadiologyFaculty of Health SciencesOto-Rhiono-Laryngology and Head & Neck SurgeryDepartment of Otorhinolaryngology in Linköping
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Education for Health
Clinical Medicine

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