Integration of Persons With HIV in a Problem-Based Tutorial: A Qualitative Study
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BACKGROUND: This qualitative study examined the effect of using persons with HIV-AIDS (PHAs) as facilitators of learning in an interdisciplinary problem-based learning curriculum. DESCRIPTION: Ten students representing 5 professions (medicine, occupational therapy, physical therapy, nursing, and social work) volunteered to participate in an 8-week course on rehabilitation issues in HIV. Two tutorial groups met weekly to discuss problems with the assistance of a faculty tutor and a PHA. Students completed a weekly journal outlining their experiences. At completion of the course, students participated in semistructured interviews. A qualitative analysis of the transcribed interviews and the journals was undertaken. EVALUATION: The PHA provided a unique perspective on living with HIV, acted as a resource, and challenged the students' values and assumptions. The presence of the PHA also presented challenges in that the students worried their comments might offend them. CONCLUSIONS: PHAs contributed significantly to students' learning and can be successfully incorporated into problem-based tutorials.
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