Instant Aging – Empathy Through Self Awareness

DOI: 10.3238/zfa.2016.0131-0138

german translation / full article

Sandra Lange, Jeannine Schübel, Karen Voigt, Antje Bergmann, Axel Bartels

Keywords: instant aging evaluation teaching methods NKLM empathy

Background: For future physicians it is essential to develop attitudes for dealing respectfully with chronically ill and elderly patients. Therefore, the seminar „Instant Aging“ was introduced in 2013 at the TU Dresden for medical students of the 4th year. To simulate age-related diseases and limitations, students wear immobilizing devices that limit movement and perception, thus allowing a change of perspective. However, it remained to be seen whether the new teaching concept satisfies the requirements of the National Competency-based Learning Objectives Catalogue in Medicine (NKLM) and how the students would evaluate this new teaching format and its implementation.

Methods: To simulate age-related diseases and restrictions, students receive immobilizing instruments reducing possible movements and sensations. Thus age-related illnesses and limitations are realistically simulated to allow a change of perspective. The evaluation results of the seminar “Instant Aging” were examined from 2013 to 2015. This included 22 questions about personal attitudes towards the different tasks, as well as about the organization and overall impression. The questions were constructed as a six-step scale (1 = „strongly agree“ to 6 = „not at all“). A validation was not performed, because it was a pure evaluation of the seminar.

Results: 478 of 510 students participated in the evaluation (93.7 % response). Evaluation results in 2015 are significantly better than in 2013 regarding six out of nine questions dealing with the simulation and the satisfaction with the seminar. In contrast, in 2015 the students stronger criticized a lack of time available for the seminar. In 2015, compared to 2013, they also agreed more strongly with the statement, that they now could better understand elderly and sick patients (p ? 0,05).

Conclusions: Good teaching requires modern teaching formats, which in turn call for both a solid base stock of human and material resources as well as appropriate timing in the curriculum. Our results show that practical exercises allow increasingly realistic simulations and therefore more intensive self-experience. In this way, they agree well with the guidelines of NKLM.

(State: 16.03.2017)

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