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Differences in clinical reasoning among psychology students: A qualitative approach in exploring expertise

Glazier, Taylah (2020) Differences in clinical reasoning among psychology students: A qualitative approach in exploring expertise. Masters by Coursework thesis, Murdoch University.

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Abstract

Aims: To explore psychology students verbal clinical decision-making to better understand their reasoning processes. Broadly, we aim to capture these abilities to determine any common themes or gaps within responses that may be helpful in providing information that may inform better teaching practices at Murdoch University.

Methods: Semi-structured qualitative interviews based on a clinical vignette were developed for this study. The sample contained (N=12) psychology students enrolled in either undergraduate or postgraduate (professional masters and clinical masters). Thematic analysis was employed in line with Braun and Clarke (2006) guidelines.

Results: Eleven subthemes emerged from the data. Across participants, there was observable difficulties in their ability to generate/articulate a primary hypothesis. Moreover, participants also had difficulty in either articulating or being able to provide reasoning as to how they made their decisions about the case. Differences between postgraduate and undergraduate forms of reasoning were also observed- postgraduates typically demonstrated more evidence of forward reasoning.

Conclusion: Findings suggest that across the board, students understanding of a hypothesis and their ability to articulate their clinical reasoning was limited. These results point to recommendations for future teaching programs to emphasise reflective practices.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters by Coursework)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Psychology, Counselling, Exercise Science and Chiropractic
Notes: Note to the author: If you would like to make your thesis openly available on Murdoch University Library's Research Repository, please contact: repository@murdoch.edu.au. Thank you.
Supervisor(s): Lewis, Andrew, Mathersul, Danielle and Campitelli, Guillermo
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/60877
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