Learning effects of thematic peer-review: A qualitative analysis of reflective journals on spiritual care

Reformed University of Applied Sciences, Zwolle, P.O. Box 10030, Zwolle 8012 EN, The Netherlands.
Nurse education today (Impact Factor: 1.36). 12/2008; 29(4):413-22. DOI: 10.1016/j.nedt.2008.10.003
Source: PubMed


This study describes the learning effects of thematic peer-review discussion groups (Hendriksen, 2000. Begeleid intervisie model, Collegiale advisering en probleemoplossing, Nelissen, Baarn.) on developing nursing students' competence in providing spiritual care. It also discusses the factors that might influence the learning process. The method of peer-review is a form of reflective learning based on the theory of experiential learning (Kolb, 1984. Experiential learning, Experience as the source of learning development. Englewoods Cliffs, New Jersey, Prentice Hill). It was part of an educational programme on spiritual care in nursing for third-year undergraduate nursing students from two nursing schools in the Netherlands. Reflective journals (n=203) kept by students throughout the peer-review process were analysed qualitatively The analysis shows that students reflect on spirituality in the context of personal experiences in nursing practice. In addition, they discuss the nursing process and organizational aspects of spiritual care. The results show that the first two phases in the experiential learning cycle appear prominently; these are 'inclusion of actual experience' and 'reflecting on this experience'. The phases of 'abstraction of experience' and 'experimenting with new behaviour' are less evident. We will discuss possible explanations for these findings according to factors related to education, the students and the tutors and make recommendations for follow-up research.

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