The humanities in a course on loss and grief

McAteer, M. F. and Murray, R. E. G. (2003) The humanities in a course on loss and grief. Physiotherapy, 89 (2). pp. 97-103. ISSN 00319406 (ISSN)


This paper describes an innovative course on loss and grief, its rationale, content and assessment. This curriculum development project arose from a collaboration between University College Dublin School of Physiotherapy and the University of Strathclyde Centre for Academic Practice, drawing on the work of the Glasgow Medical Humanities Group (founded in 1989). The key section in the discussion is the students' writing under examination conditions, providing evidence that they integrated personal experience and teaching materials. In addition, there is evidence that the students who chose the humanities option performed better in the assessment of this module than those who restricted themselves to scientific texts. It was hoped that this type of educational experience would generate in students the deep understanding which Downie (1994) considers to be essential to humane healtcare.

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