Perception of medical professionalism among the surgical community in the University of Nairobi: a mixed method study
Ojuka, Daniel K
Olenja, Joyce M.
Mwango’mbe, Nimrod J.
Eunbae, B. Yang
Jana, Macleod B
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Background Professionalism defines the relationship between colleagues, patients and the society as a whole. Furthermore, being a social construct, professionalism is sophisticated to be regarded simply as a single concept across different cultural contexts. This study sought to explore how professionalism is conceptualized by the clinicians, students and patients in a teaching hospital in Kenya. Methods A sequential mixed methods study was conducted among clinicians, students and patients at Kenyatta National Hospital on the surgical wards from March 1st-December 31st, 2014. The first phase of the study involved focus group discussions (FGDs) of between 10–12 persons and individual in-depth interviews of senior faculty and patients. Grounded theory method was used for collecting perceptions of participants on professionalism. These views were then coded using Atlas 5.2, allowing the development of a questionnaire that provided the survey tool for the second phase of the study. For the questionnaire, response options utilized a 4-point Likert scale with a range from “strongly agree” to “strongly disagree”. Factor analysis was used to analyse the responses to the survey. Internal reliability was determined by Cronbach’s α. Results Sixteen FGDs and 18 in-depth interviews were held with 204 clinicians, students and patients. A further 188 participants completed the questionnaire. Respect was the most frequently mentioned or picked component of professionalism during the interview and survey respectively, with 74.5 % of participants reporting “strongly agree”. Factor analysis showed that 3 factors accounted for the majority of the variance in the items analysed; respect in practice, excellence in service and concern for the patient. The Cronbach’s α for this analysis was 0.927. Conclusion The study cohort predominantly conceptualizes professionalism as relating to respect between colleagues and toward patients. Respect, being a cultural norm, should form part of the core curriculum of professionalism in order to be relevant for the Kenyan context.
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