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Anat Sci Educ. 2017 May 4. doi: 10.1002/ase.1698. [Epub ahead of print]

An exploration of anatomists' views toward the use of body painting in anatomical and medical education: An international study.

Author information

1
Hull York Medical School, University of York, Heslington, York, North Yorkshire, United Kingdom.
2
Institute of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Faculty of Medicine, University Hospital RWTH Aachen, Germany.

Abstract

Previous research has explored the experiences of medical students using body painting as a learning tool. However, to date, faculty experiences and views have not been explored. This international qualitative study utilized a grounded theory approach with data collection through interviews with academics and clinicians who utilized body painting as part of their anatomical teaching. Twenty-six anatomists participated in the study from 14 centers worldwide. Three themes emerged from the data: (1) the efficacy of body painting, (2) the promotion of knowledge retention and recall, (3) considerations and practicalities regarding the use of body painting as a teaching tool. Subthemes show that body painting is used as an adjunct to the curriculum for teaching surface anatomy and peer examination. Benefits included diffusing the formal curricula, high student engagement and learning for future clinical practice. Body painting was advocated for promoting knowledge retention and recall, particularly learning through the process of cognitive load due to combining the use of color and kinesthetic learning with anatomical theory. Critical discussions surfaced on the topic of undressing in the classroom due to cultural and personal considerations possibly leading to unequal involvement and different learning experiences. Overall results support previous research showing that anatomists appreciate body painting as an effective, enjoyable, engaging and cost efficient adjunct to the multimodal anatomy curriculum. The role of cognitive load theory in learning anatomy through body painting emerged from the data as a possible theoretical framework supporting learning benefits from body painting and is suggested for further investigation. Anat Sci Educ. © 2017 American Association of Anatomists.

KEYWORDS:

art; body paint; gross anatomy education; medical education; medical students; surface anatomy

PMID:
28472546
DOI:
10.1002/ase.1698
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