ERIC Number: EJ1073355
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
Transformation of a Cadaver Population: Analysis of a South African Cadaver Program, 1921-2013
Kramer, Beverley; Hutchinson, Erin F.
Anatomical Sciences Education, v8 n5 p445-451 Sep-Oct 2015
Anatomy has served as a cornerstone in the training of various allied and clinical disciplines and has traditionally been based on dissection of the human body. Thus, to pursue this method of teaching and learning, access to cadavers is of continuing importance. Over a significant period of time unclaimed cadavers have performed an essential role in the teaching of anatomy in South Africa and in Africa. As recent cadaver numbers were declining at the School of Anatomical Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg and difficulty in procurement was being experienced, the purpose of this study was to critically evaluate the composition of our cadaver population over time so as to provide possible strategies to arrest the decline. A retrospective, quantitative analysis of cadaver records from the School of Anatomical Sciences between 1921 and 2013 was undertaken. Analysis included a comparison of Poisson counts and Fischer's exact test. A significant decrease in the number of cadavers received during the period 2000-2013 and a slow bequest program over the same period of time has led to concerns about the sustainability of teaching anatomy through dissection. Decreases in the numbers of males and cadavers of the black population group occurred between 1990 and 2013, and of bequests from 2000 to 2013. An influence on the cadaver population from a changing political climate and change in socioeconomic status of part of the population was perceived. Changes in sex and population group of the cadavers may have a long-term effect on teaching and research.
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Anatomy, Donors, Human Body, Statistical Analysis, Comparative Analysis, Laboratory Procedures, Medical Education, Politics, Socioeconomic Status, Males, Blacks
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Africa (Johannesburg)