Health Humanities curriculum and evaluation in health professions education: a scoping review

Sandra Carr, Farah Noya, Brid Phillips, Anna Harris, Karen Scott, Claire Hooker, Nahal Mavaddat, Mary Ani-Amponash, Daniel Vuillerman, Steve Reid, Pamela Brett-MacLean

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Background:The articulation of learning goals, processes and outcomes related to health humanities teaching currently lacks comparability of curricula and outcomes, and requires synthesis to provide a basis for developing a curriculum and evaluation framework for health humanities teaching and learning. This scoping review sought to answer how and why the health humanities are used in health professions education. It also sought to explore how health humanities curricula are evaluated and whether the programme evaluation aligns with the desired learning outcomes.Methods:A focused scoping review of qualitative and mixed‑methods studies that included the influence of integrated health humanities curricula in pre‑registration health professions education with programme evaluate of outcomes was completed. Studies of students not enrolled in a pre‑registration course, with only ad‑hoc health humanities learning experiences that were not assessed or evaluated were excluded. Four databases were searched (CINAHL), (ERIC), PubMed, and Medline.Results:The search over a 5 year period, identified 8621 publications. Title and abstract screening, followed by full‑text screening, resulted in 24 articles selected for inclusion. Learning outcomes, learning activities and evaluation data were extracted from each included publication.Discussion:Reported health humanities curricula focused on developing students’ capacity for perspective, reflex‑ivity, self‑ reflection and person‑centred approaches to communication. However, the learning outcomes were not consistently described, identifying a limited capacity to compare health humanities curricula across programmes. A set of clearly stated generic capabilities or outcomes from learning in health humanities would be a helpful next step for benchmarking, clarification and comparison of evaluation strategy.
Original languageEnglish
Article number568
Number of pages10
JournalBMC Medical Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


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