Effect of context-based undergraduate biochemistry for health sciences (CUBHS) instruction on student perception of relevance, achievement and attitude

Fernandez K1, Overton T2, Thompson C3 and Samarawickrema N4

  1. School of Chemistry/Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Monash University.
  2. School of Chemistry, Monash University.
  3. School of Chemistry, Monash University.
  4. Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Monash University.

There is an ongoing debate on the relevance of foundational biochemistry in the health sciences. It stems from the fact that much of biochemistry instruction has focused on the didactic delivery of concepts and theories with little emphasis on clinical applications. This has resulted in a foundational-clinical gap and to the negative perception of biochemistry among health science students. Notwithstanding, the inclusion of biochemistry in the health science curricula remains valid. As Gwee, Samarasekera and Chay-Hoon (2010) assert, since clinical practice is based on scientific knowledge, biochemistry remains indispensable. The recommendation is for biochemistry to be taught in the context of clinical practice (1, 2). Considering this, the study aims to determine the effects of a researcher developed Context-based Undergraduate Biochemistry for Health Sciences (CUBHS) instruction on student perception of relevance, achievement and attitude. It is a two-group posttest design wherein cohorts will be health science students (nursing, pharmacy, psychology and medical laboratory science). The control group will be 2018 students who are currently studying biochemistry in its traditional didactic form while, the experimental group will be 2019 students who will be studying biochemistry in CUBHS instruction. Scores on relevance, attitude and achievement in biochemistry will be measured through adapted tools: Message Content Relevance Scale (MCRS), Attitude towards Biochemistry Inventory (ABI) measure and Biochemistry Achievement Tool (BAT). Finally, the significant difference of scores between groups will be tested. References: (1) Gwee, M., Samarasekera, D and Chay-Hoon, T.(2010). Role of Basic Sciences in 21st Century Medical Education: An Asian Perspective. Medical Science Educator, 20(3). (2) Bandierra, G.; Boucher, A.; Neville, A.; Kuper, A.; Hodges, B. (2013). Integration and timing of basic and clinical sciences education. Journal of Medical Teacher, 35(5).