RESULTS ON A PEDAGOGIC APPROACH FOR TAILORING PUBLIC HEALTH INTERVENTIONS TO MINIMISE OPPORTUNISTIC INFECTIONS
1 De Montfort University, School of Allied Health Sciences (UNITED KINGDOM)
2 IMIDRA, Departamento de Investigación Agroambiental (SPAIN)
3 Universidad de Alcalá, Departamento de Ciencias Biomédicas (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Conference name: 13th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 11-13 March, 2019
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:We are performing curriculum modifications on the first year BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science module “Basic Microbiology” (De Montfort University, UK) to increase students’ knowledge of basic medical parasitology and infectious diseases, so these students can acquire the necessary skills to tackle their final degree module “Medical Microbiology”. Following student feedback on a novel short intervention in 2017/18 to promote awareness about human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), we have created an engaging workshop session to cover not only HIV but also the opportunistic infections that can affect HIV patients that have developed acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) and how to prevent them. The objective of this work was to evaluate the effectiveness of the improved workshop developed and to collect students’ impressions to perform further modifications if needed. Briefly, students were required to develop public health measures for HIV positive patients with two different degrees of immunosuppression (i.e. with CD4+ T cells in peripheral blood above and below 200 cells/μl) to prevent exposure and infection from opportunistic pathogens such as Cryptosporidium spp., Toxoplasma gondii or Pneumocystis jirovecii from:
a) sexual exposures;
b) intravenous drug use;
b) environment and work;
c) food and water;
d) foreign travel.
Students, following evidence-based public health methodology, tailored their measures or interventions using the most up-to-date information reported in the literature regarding HIV chemoprophylaxis and recent guidelines published by US Department of Health and Human Services on HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention. Interventions were critically analysed with all students in the last 20 min. of the workshop, which was repeated several times due to the number of students (n=203). The objectives of this workshop were evaluated by careful analysis of a specific feedback questionnaire (n=46 out of 203) voluntarily completed by students at the end of the workshop. The questionnaire showed the following feedback: 80.4% (65.2% agreed; 15.2% strongly agreed) indicated that they learnt how to identify public health interventions; and 95.7% (56.5% agreed; 39.1% strongly agreed) indicated that they would be able to establish measures to reduce HIV transmission and prevent opportunistic infections. Additionally, 95.7% (39.1% agreed; 56.5% strongly agreed) indicated that the workshop helped them to understand the relevance of local and global interventions. Finally, 97.8% of responders considered that the content (52.2% agreed; 45.7% strongly agreed) and duration (60.9% agreed; 37% strongly agreed) of the workshop was appropriate; and 89.1% (58.7% agreed; 30.4% strongly agreed) and 73.9% (41.3% agreed; 32.6% strongly agreed) enjoyed and were satisfied with the workshop provided, respectively. In conclusion, the improved workshop developed would seem to be effective for promoting sexual and public health education to minimise opportunistic pathogen infections in relevant patients when delivered to students with a basic knowledge of microbiology and parasitology.
Keywords: HIV/AIDS, preventive education, opportunistic infections training, medical parasitology.