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ERIC Number: EJ1133525
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Apr
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0017-8969
Teaching from "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks": Student Perspectives on Health Disparities and Medical Ethics
Dimaano, Christian; Spigner, Clarence
Health Education Journal, v76 n3 p259-270 Apr 2017
Objective: "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" by Rebecca Skloot is an award-winning biography engaging its readers on important topics ranging from race, science and ethics to the social determinants of health. However, the multiple pedagogic impacts of this book on the public health classroom setting have yet to be comprehensively explored. Method: A qualitative, pre/post-test study design assessed the perceptions of 17 Master's of Public Health students on topics of health disparities and medical ethics. A total of 14 students were assigned to an intervention (book-based seminar course; Cohort A) and 3 students acted as the non-intervention group (Cohort B) over a study period of 10 weeks. Results: A thematic analysis uncovered more profound changes in the perceptions of the intervention group. All students were aware of health disparities over the course of the 10-week class; however, significant traction was gained on more complex issues linked to the social determinants of health. Specifically, students in the intervention group showed deeper perceptions about health inequalities with a particular focus on racial disparities. Conclusion: Although graduate students in the public health discipline were well aware of health inequalities, a seminar course surrounding a popular book about Henrietta Lacks afforded students a more concrete understanding for why and how race and racism in health disparities exist.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Washington
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A