University of Nottingham (UNITED KINGDOM)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN12 Proceedings
Publication year: 2012
Pages: 7281-7284
ISBN: 978-84-695-3491-5
ISSN: 2340-1117
Conference name: 4th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 2-4 July, 2012
Location: Barcelona, Spain
To understand the perspectives of the international diversity in women’s health and to respond to their particular needs is a challenge to healthcare professionals who strive to provide inclusive respectful and effective services. Healthcare educators are also recognising the need to engender intercultural awareness of women’s health in the increasingly internationalised curriculum. Information and communications technology (ICT) can support the development of an internationalised curriculum in many ways for example Yusuf-Khalil et al (2007) reported on some of the challenges of getting healthcare students from five diverse countries to develop an understanding of transcultural perspectives of women’s health needs in virtual groups using ICT. There was a consensus among participants that they were able to ‘appreciate and communicate their understanding of women’s health and wellbeing from a much broader set of trans-national inflected lenses’.

A case study development tool that will allow scenarios around issues relating to diversity in women’s health to be generated and shared by global partners, and their students has been developed in Adobe Flex. The tool provides a flexible template to develop the cases on a computer desk top which are packaged and delivered to students as web-based resources. The tool allows lecturers and practitioners to develop highly adaptable and interactive case studies which will form the basis of online collaborative discussion between diverse inter-professional student groups. The first case study we have developed is on cervical cancer.

Cervical cytology screening and early management of abnormalities are key tools in reducing invasive cervical cancer incidence. However, despite widely available cost effective screening, women in lower socioeconomic groups and minorities continue to suffer from a higher incidence and mortality from cervical cancer. Cervical cancer is essentially a preventable disease but the goal remains illusive particularly where disparities continue to exist among underserved and impoverished multicultural populations. This provides an ideal scenario for students to explore the issues for women in different countries.

The chosen case study for this project presents a woman who defaulted cervical screening for 8 years. The patient went to see her GP because she was not conceiving for the last 2 years. She was very keen to start a family and wanted to make sure that she is well. The GP took the opportunity and convinced her to have a cervical smear test. Further tests identified early invasive cancer and different fertility-sparing treatment options are given. Students are presented with opportunities to make decisions about the choice of treatment options and compare their answers with the clinician.

In the presentation, we will report on the usability of the case study tool, demonstrate the case on cervical cancer and report on its ability to engage the students in critical thinking about cultural differences in women’s health.

Yusuf-Khalil,Y.etal (2007) Reflections on a collaborative experience:using ICT in a trans-cultural women’s health module Agenda, 21:71,54-65
Womens health, diversity, cultural competence, case study tool, interprofessional learning.