Medical students as family-health advocates: Arabian Gulf University experience

Neil Grant, Trevor Gibbs, Tawfeeq Ali Naseeb, Ahmed Al Garf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The Arabian Gulf University is a coeducational Islamic institution in the Kingdom of Bahrain sponsored by the Gulf Cooperative Council. The College of Medicine follows a problem-based curriculum in which science is integrated with professional skills and a community-health programme, comprising of maternal and child health, family studies, and population-health research. The family-studies programme requires all third- year students to complete a wide series of activities under family-physician supervision.

Aim: The aim of the study was to assess the performance of the programme with specific regard to students' family-health advocacy roles.

Method: A trained community-health nurse administered a semistructured questionnaire based on family empowerment to 30 families. Themes included health-knowledge gains, positive changes in lifestyle and communication practices, and accessing community resources.

Results: All families reported a gain in relevant health knowledge, and a number of families reported positive changes in lifestyle.

Conclusions: Students proved to be valuable advocates for families in this programme. Their principal role lay in the uncovering of psychosocial distress, but they were able also to offer practical help in lifestyle behaviour changes, communication, and community-resource use.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages5
JournalMedical Teacher
Publication statusPublished - 2007




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