Research Articles (Office of the Dean: Health Sciences)

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  • ItemOpen Access
    Moringa oleifera: a review on the antiproliferative potential in breast cancer cells
    (MDPI, 2023) Moremane, Malebogo M.; Abrahams, Beynon; Tiloke, Charlette
    The global burden of female breast cancer and associated deaths has become a major concern. Many chemotherapeutic agents, such as doxorubicin, have been shown to have adverse side effects. The development of multi-drug resistance is a common occurrence, contributing to chemotherapeutic failure. The resistance of breast cancer cells to drug treatment leads to a decline in the treatment efficacy and an increase in cancer recurrence. Therefore, action is required to produce alternative drug therapies, such as herbal drugs. Herbal drugs have been proven to be beneficial in treating illnesses, including cancer. This review aims to highlight the antiproliferative potential of Moringa oleifera (MO), a medicinal tree native to India and indigenous to Africa, in breast cancer cells. Although MO is not yet considered a commercial chemopreventive drug, previous studies have indicated that it could become a chemotherapeutic agent. The possible antiproliferative potential of MO aqueous leaf extract has been previously proven through its antioxidant potential as well as its ability to induce apoptosis. This review will provide an increased understanding of the effect that MO aqueous leaf extract could potentially have against breast cancer.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Bedside teaching in optometry: a millennial view on an ancient teaching and learning method
    (AOSIS, 2023) Kempen, Elzana; Labuschagne, Mathys J.; Jama, Mpho P.
    Background: Bedside teaching is a key component of a positive learning environment where non-technical skills and professional attributes can be taught. It is also one of the few ways to transfer professionalism: a core competency in a health science curriculum. This study investigated the experiences and perceptions of optometry students on bedside teaching to improve its effectiveness, and tailor it to the needs of the millennial generation students. Aim: This study aimed to determine the experiences and perceptions of optometry students on bedside teaching (apprenticeship) during an ocular pathology clinic. Setting: The study was done at the Department of Optometry at the University of the Free State, South Africa. Methods: A qualitative case study was undertaken. All 17 final-year optometry students (N = 17) were invited to participate. Data were collected using an open-ended questionnaire. Content analysis was used to analyse the experiences and perceptions of the participants. Results: Bedside teaching is a generally well-perceived experience from the student’s perspective. The role of the supervisor was mentioned as the critical factor that facilitated learning, specifically learning by observing the application of theory and handling and treatment of the patient. Conclusion: This study showed that millennial students perceived bedside teaching positively and provided valuable insights into this teaching and learning method in an undergraduate optometry clinical education setting. Experiential learning benefited these millennial students who prefer learning by observation. Contribution: A blueprint for the learning triad in bedside teaching is provided for optometry educators to apply this teaching and learning method successfully according to the needs of the current generation of students.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Role and value of simulation in plastic surgery education and training: recommendations for implementation
    (Central University of Technology, Free State, 2021) Nel, C. P. G.; Labuschagne, M. J.; Van Zyl, G. J.
    The aim of the study was to elucidate the role and value of simulation in postgraduate plastic surgery training. The research questions were: What are the role and value of simulation in postgraduate plastic surgery training? Is simulation useful in addressing the lack of opportunities for clinical exposure and practice? What are points of departure to consider for the use of simulation in training? Data were collected through semi-structured interviews with national and international experts in simulation and postgraduate education, and by a Delphi process collecting expert opinions of plastic surgeons. We discuss the role and value of simulation and matters to consider when contemplating the implementation of simulation. We also describe factors that influence and drive the implementation of simulation. The research outcomes resulted recommendations regarding the successful implementation of simulation in postgraduate plastic surgery training, thus indicating how simulation might be used to enhance learning and to improve students' knowledge, clinical competence, clinical skills, and professional conduct.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Online faculty development in low- and middle-income countries for health professions educators: a rapid realist review
    (BMC, 2022) Keiller, Lianne; Nyoni, Champion; Van Wyk, Chantel
    Background Health professions educators require support to develop teaching and learning, research, educational leadership, and administrative skills to strengthen their higher education role through faculty development initiatives. Where administration has pursued face-to-face and online faculty development initiatives, results have positively influenced health professions educators. There is limited evidence demonstrating how online faculty development works for health professions educators in low- and middle-income countries who engage in online health professions education (HPE) faculty development. Methods A Conjecture Map for online HPE faculty development courses identified candidate theories for a rapid realist review. The Conjecture Map and candidate theories, Community of Inquiry and the Conversational Framework guided the development of search terms and analysis for this review. Three searches using EbscoHost databases yielded 1030 abstracts. A primary and secondary research team participated in a multi-reviewer blinded process in assessing abstracts, selecting full-text articles, and data extraction. The primary research team analysed eight articles for this rapid realist review to answer the research question: How do online HPE faculty development courses work, or not work, in low- and middle-income countries? Data were analysed and mapped to the initial Conjecture Map and the research question. Results The research references US-based organisations forming partnerships with low- and middle-income countries, and who provide funding for online HPE faculty development initiatives. These initiatives design courses that facilitate learning through engagement from which participants report beneficial outcomes of professional and career development. The review does not clarify if the reported outcomes are generalisable for facilitators from low-and middle-income countries. The findings of this review demonstrate the role of a community of practice as the dominant mechanism through which the outcomes are achieved, based on a design that incorporates six triggering events. The design aligns the triggering events with the three categories of the Community of Inquiry—a theory for designing online learning environments. Conclusion Health professions educators in low- and middle-income countries can develop professional and interpersonal skills through a well-designed, specifically constructed online community that prioritises active discussion.
  • ItemOpen Access
    An online multiple-choice microbiology game for undergraduate medical students: a case study
    (University of the Free State, 2012) Struwig, Daleen; Beylefeld, Adri; Hugo, Alwyn; Joubert, Gina
    English: Educational games are increasingly used in medical curricula to enhance the process of mastering subject content. Students experience medical microbiology as an exceptional challenge because of unfamiliar terminology and the extensive volume of this field of study. Consequently, many students believe that medical microbiology could be a major contributor to failing an academic year. This article describes the use of an online multiple-choice game to improve students’ performance in the Infections module of their medical training programme. The results show that an informal approach to learning may be beneficial to students, even in tertiary institutions.