We are delighted to announce the 2021 Rosemary Pope memorial fund award winner: Dr Isaac Badu Appiah. Thesis title: Understanding cancer patients’ motivations and experiences in using traditional healers in Ghana: A Grounded Theory Approach (PhD).
The prize is awarded annually for the PhD thesis or MSc Dissertation (School of Health Sciences, University of Surrey) making a significant and outstanding contribution to the study of healthcare education and practice with particular relevance to nursing and midwifery.
Runners up are:
Dr Johanna Groothuizen. Thesis title: Values, situational judgement, and the clinical practice environment: A study of adult nursing students (PhD).
Jennifer Woolf. Dissertation title: Systematic review of the causes and consequences of presenteeism in registered nurses (MSc).
Further details regarding the research can be found below. We are planning to hold a Celebration event in the next few months, so please look out for the invitation. We are hoping that this can be a hybrid event with presentations on campus (subject to covid guidance).
Congratulations to all the nominated students and their supervisors.
About the Research
Dr Isaac Badu Appiah. Thesis title: Understanding cancer patients’ motivations and experiences in using traditional healers in Ghana: A Grounded Theory Approach (PhD).
Supervisors: Anne Arber & Afrodita Marcu/Carin Magnusson
- Isaac was interested in why people living with cancer were using traditional healers alongside conventional medical health services in Ghana. He found that medical pluralism existed with different approaches to help-seeking used alongside each other, such as use of lay networks, traditional medicine and conventional health care systems. Isaac had two extended periods of data collection in Ghana where he conducted interviews (n=35) and observations with patients in two hospitals specialising in oncology and in five traditional medicine (herbal) clinics. The main categories that came out of the study were placing trust in one’s community, finding solace in the therapeutic hospitality and conviviality of the herbal clinic, avoiding upset and managing emotions. Participants reported how practitioners in the herbal clinics created a comfortable ‘community of us’ for people with cancer. The ‘community of us’ was found to exclude conventional doctors who were viewed by participants as detached from the local community and lacking in socio-cultural sensitivities when breaking significant news.
- Supervisors nomination: Isaac demonstrated excellent interpersonal skills and sensitivity to enable him to negotiate access to both traditional clinics and hospitals with oncology units in Ghana and to recruit participants to the study. The study findings have many implications for socio-cultural practices in health care that support the development of trusting relationships in Ghana. Awareness of how to break significant news in a culturally appropriate manner and to engender trust by using appropriate language is something that patients report as essential to trust.
- Selection Committee: Great deal of work both physical (travelling to Ghana on several occasions) and psychological (gaining and maintaining the trust of elders and patients in the community) whilst Isaac continued to work full time in the NHS. Although written and completed prior to the current Corona virus pandemic many factors raised will resonate with the communities today e.g. the reluctance of some of the BAME groups to have vaccine. Transparent positioning of ‘self.’ Minimal existing data in relation to Ghana. A key piece to inform UK nurses and other professionals regarding cultural attitudes. Potential for very strong patient, practice and policy impact.
Dr Johanna Groothuizen. Thesis title: Values, situational judgement, and the clinical practice environment: A study of adult nursing students (PhD)
Supervisors: Dr Alison Callwood, Dr Debbie Cooke, Prof Ann Gallagher
- Johanna’s research explored potential differences in values between first, second- and third-year students of adult nursing and investigated whether and how such students’ values may change over the duration of their programme. A Situational Judgement Test (SJT) was developed, and reliability and validity were determined with a pilot sample of 47 volunteers. Subsequently, first (n=13), second (n=15) and third (n=9) year students (total N=37) completed the SJT and participated in discussion sessions. Analysis took place using inferential statistics and thematic methods. Afterwards, six tutors were presented with the findings and interviewed. The research illuminated the impact on values of exposure to clinical practice environments. The novel findings and key recommendations for education and healthcare organizations contribute to the preparation of students for clinical practice, addressing hierarchy, and providing a safe and ethical learning environment.
- Supervisors nomination: Johanna’s potential was identified at a very early stage when she secured funding, including a stipend, for her PhD through the Centre for Nursing and Midwifery Education (CRNME). Johanna navigated her PhD journey responsively and creatively, over-coming challenges with calm professionalism illustrative of her future potential as a researcher. She has served as an exemplary role model for other PGRs in consistently demonstrating professionalism, collegiality, generosity and academic excellence. Findings are all the more pertinent in the current pandemic crisis context.
- Selection Committee: Very well presented and extensive piece of work. Innovative in terms of the development of a tool. Novel in terms of nurse education and adds to the theoretical base. Useful for educators and peer-reviewed articles have been published. Skilful integration of philosophy, policy framework and theoretical perspectives to create a bespoke lens for this thesis. Complexity of values as a concept is discussed with excellence.
Jennifer Woolf. Dissertation title: Systematic review of the causes and consequences of presenteeism in registered nurses (MSc)
Supervisors: Prof Jill Maben, Prof Cath Taylor
- The act of attending work while unwell has been termed presenteeism, which has been shown to be an indicator of staff health and wellbeing. Healthcare staff have high rates of presenteeism, which has also been shown to have far reaching and negative consequences to the individual, patients and their organisations. This systematic review aims to establish what is currently known about presenteeism of nurses and to build a complete model that takes account of the existing qualitative and quantitative research. Conclusions: Presenteeism is a result of deliberate decisions by nurses that include evaluation of their own illness, how their absence may affect the workplace and the standards they hold themselves to stemming from the nursing culture. This review is the first to integrate qualitative and quantitative data of presenteeism in nurses and proposes a new model of causes and consequences of presenteeism.
- Supervisors nomination: In terms of a significant and outstanding contribution to the study of healthcare education and practice with particular relevance to nursing and midwifery, Jennifer’s thesis and interest in this topic was significantly influenced by her own experiences and a desire to learn and make things better for students and staff. We are working on publishing her review together. The work is timely and hugely important topic wise, the work was conducted to a very high standard and involved her developing a model of causes and consequences of presenteeism that built on previous reviews that had only taken account of quantitative evidence.
- Selection Committee: An interesting study recognizable to nurses and midwives on committee – a trip “down memory lane”. Members having worked in practice, education and management having had to deal with all the issues raised in this review in relation to staff and colleagues. Very innovative area of research and topical. Particularly relevant during covid. Clarity and excellent conceptual definitions.