Learning About Parkinson's Disease (PD) Through Poetry And Pictures

Deborah Jones, Suzanne Powell, Teri Taylor

Research output: Contribution to conferencePoster


Background: A web-based archive of local health narratives to support the learning of training healthcare professionals has been developed by CETL4HealthNE (http://www.cetl4healthne.ac.uk/view). First year physiotherapy students at Northumbria University, UK, a CETL4HealthNE partner, learn about living with PD by interacting with pictures (with audio narrative) and poetry donated to the archive by Ruth Nicholson, a person with PD. Aims: Five learning outcomes (LOs) are set for the session (reported on in the text of the Results section). Methods: Students discuss Ruth's work in small groups and feedback is captured by the lecturer. Each time her story is used Ruth is contacted by the lecturer and provides an update for the students. Students rate how successfully the 5 LOs have been achieved (poor/fair/good/excellent). Results: 131 students have completed evaluation forms after this session (2006-09). Overall the majority of students rated the session as 'good' or 'excellent' in achieving its five stated LOs (percentages refer to 'good'/'excellent' ratings combined). All students felt the session enabled them to gain a user perspective on PD, with 99% feeling the session helped identify impairments, activity limitations and participation restrictions associated with PD. 92% felt the session was useful in terms of identifying helpful characteristics in healthcare professionals, and 97% felt it provided an opportunity to consider how a user perspective/contribution could help in the education of healthcare professions. The session was thought to support the identification of potential physical management approaches to PD by 80% of students. Students commented that the material challenged them to look beyond the physical symptoms, and they reported that they would like more sessions in this format. Conclusion: New digital multi-media technologies provide a powerful way to capture health stories which provide effective learning materials, supporting an exploratory rather than didactic teaching approach. Whilst not in the classroom, the service user presence is felt strongly through the materials and the update to students from Ruth via the lecturer. Work is underway to collect narratives about managing medication issues when people with PD go into hospital to support both student learning and the UK Parkinson's Disease Society's ‘Get it On Time’ Campaign (http://www.parkinsons.org.uk/about_us/policy_ and_campaigns-1/current_campaigns/get_it_on_time_campaign.aspx).
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 28 Sept 2010
EventWPC 2010 - 2nd World Parkinson Congress - Glasgow, UK
Duration: 28 Sept 2010 → …


ConferenceWPC 2010 - 2nd World Parkinson Congress
Period28/09/10 → …


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