Perspective-Taking and Perspective-Sharing in Pediatric Education: Exploring Connections Between Strategies of Medical Students and Patients’ Caregivers

J. Frenkel
L. Baten
M. C. L. EijkelboomEmail
M. F. van der Schaaf
R. A. M. de Kleijn
Soort article
Original Research
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Introduction: In pediatric education, caregivers are increasingly involved to share their perspective. Yet, an in-depth understanding of the perspective-taking process between medical students and caregivers is lacking. This study explored: 1) Which strategies do medical students use to take a caregiver’s perspective and which facilitators and constraints do they perceive? 2) Which strategies do caregivers use to share their perspective with students? and 3) How do students’ perspective-taking strategies relate to caregivers’ perspective-sharing strategies?

Methods: In an online lesson: two caregivers of pediatric patients, shared their story with 27 fourth-year Dutch medical students. After the session, students undertook an assignment where they individually reflected on how they took perspective. Students’ reflections were collected via audio recordings. Caregivers were individually interviewed. Data were analyzed through thematic and cross-case analysis.

Results: Students used eight perspective-taking strategies, in various combinations. Students used inferential strategies, where they made inferences from available information, and cultivating strategies, where they attempted to elicit more information about the caregiver. Students perceived individual-, contextual- and caregiver-related facilitators and constraints for taking perspective. Caregivers shared their perspective by adopting multiple strategies to share their story and create a trusting learning environment. We visualized connections between students’ perspective-taking strategies, facilitators/constraints, and caregivers’ perspective-sharing strategies.

Discussion: By combining data from both perspective-takers (students) and perspective-sharers (caregivers), this study provides a foundation for future research to study perspective-taking between students and patients in an educational context. On a practical level, our findings provide tools for students, patients, and educators to enhance perspective-taking processes.


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