Study Promotes Improved Care for Older Adults
Lecturer in UKZN’s Department of Family Medicine Dr Keshena Naidoo graduated with a PhD in Health Professions Education.
Supervised by Professor Jacky van Wyk, Academic Leader of Research in the School of Clinical Medicine, the study was titled, Preparing Medical Graduates to Care for Older Adults. It was inspired by Naidoo’s personal experience of working in residential care facilities for the elderly and other primary healthcare settings.
‘The study advocates for quality healthcare for older adults and has implications for undergraduate teaching and learning at UKZN and other institutions in the sub-Saharan African region,’ she said.
The mixed method study investigated the medical geriatric curriculum at a sub-Saharan African medical school. It gathered the perspectives of elderly patients, learners and health professions educators.
The findings affirmed the need to enhance the geriatric curriculum for undergraduate Medical students, and to develop and implement minimum core competencies in geriatric care.
‘Policy guidelines to improve medical graduate preparedness to care for older adults include broader community engagement in curriculum design and delivery and increased attention to patient-centred care and interprofessional education,’ she said.
Naidoo has been involved in the training of Medical and Nursing students since 2003, and is passionate about training competent and caring primary healthcare professionals to work in community settings. She also completed a Sub-Saharan Africa-FAIMER Regional Institute (SAFRI) fellowship in Health Professions Education, and intends to follow up her study by collaborating with other health professional disciplines in order to promote interprofessional education at UKZN.
Words: Nombuso Dlamini