Reflecting on our practice: an evaluation of Balint groups for medical students in psychiatry

Parker, Stephen and Leggett, Andrew (2014) Reflecting on our practice: an evaluation of Balint groups for medical students in psychiatry. Australasian Psychiatry, 22 2: 190-194. doi:10.1177/1039856213517946

Author Parker, Stephen
Leggett, Andrew
Title Reflecting on our practice: an evaluation of Balint groups for medical students in psychiatry
Journal name Australasian Psychiatry   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1039-8562
Publication date 2014-01-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1177/1039856213517946
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 22
Issue 2
Start page 190
End page 194
Total pages 5
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher Sage Publications
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Objective: This paper qualitatively evaluates a one-year trial of Balint clinical reflection groups for medical students in psychiatry at a large Australian tertiary referral hospital. The trial considered whether clinical reflection groups following the Balint process would be perceived as useful and relevant to the learning needs of the student participants.

Method: A grounded theory approach was undertaken. This included survey data, thematic analysis of written feedback, and facilitator reflection on the process. Facilitators adapted the group process in response to participants' needs. These modifications included: increased education regarding the Balint process; the introduction of copresenters; and the inclusion of a didactic summary following each session.

Results: The evaluation suggested that fidelity of the Balint group experience was achieved and that student attitudes were neutral to mildly positive regarding the educational experience.

Conclusions: Balint groups are potentially useful to medical students in the Australian context. We suggest that Balint groups may be more useful when applied in less alienating learning environments, such as during general practice rotations. Emphasis is placed on the need to maintain a dynamic approach by adapting the group and the educational processes as the work unfolds.
Keyword Balint group
Clinical communication
Medical education
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Medicine Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 6 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 5 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Mon, 22 Feb 2016, 18:22:43 EST by Stephen Parker on behalf of Psychiatry - Princess Alexandra Hospital