Allinson, MD, Jacklin, S, Corfield, L and Rezzano, J (2021) Bringing ethical dilemmas to life; the use of drama teaching in healthcare education. Journal of Academic Development and Education (13). ISSN 2051-3593

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Context and objectives
Empathy is an important element that underpins a health professional’s ability to handle ethical dilemmas involving patients, with a focus on providing person-centred care. The aim of this project was to evaluate the use of an innovative teaching approach involving drama to help students experience and understand the emotional aspects of ethical dilemmas.

A pragmatic approach was applied whereby a focus group was undertaken to gain views of pharmacy students, and a brief questionnaire was emailed to medical students who attended the session. The focus group was transcribed verbatim and analysed thematically using the Framework Approach. The questionnaire data was analysed descriptively.

Thirty-five pharmacy students and 10 medical students attended a teaching session. Discussion from the focus group (n = 4) centred around four main themes: general views of the session; benefits to students; drawbacks to the session; potential improvements. Students reported many benefits, including evocation of a strong empathetic response, widening perspectives, possibly building confidence, and having the opportunity to observe confrontation. Data from the questionnaire (n=4) showed all students enjoyed the session. Both groups reported that the session should be continued, and widened to include more disciplines. Suggestions for potential improvements included providing a range of scenarios, linking the session to assessment and providing transport to the theatre.

This evaluation has found a novel teaching method, in collaboration with the New Vic Theatre, to be an effective and engaging way to help develop empathy whilst addressing ethical dilemmas in a safe environment.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the final published version of the article (version of record). It first appeared online via Keele University at - please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.
Uncontrolled Keywords: ethical dilemmas, drama, education, empathy
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Divisions: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Pharmacy and Bioengineering
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 09 Nov 2021 16:07
Last Modified: 09 Nov 2021 16:30

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