Expanding the Caring Lens: Nursing and Medical Students Reflecting on Images of Older People

Gabrielle Brand, Karen Miller, Rosemary Saunders, Helen Dugmore, Christopher Etherton-Beer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


In changing higher education environments, health profession’s educators have been increasingly challenged to prepare future health professionals to care for aging populations. This article reports on an exploratory, mixed-method research study that used an innovative photo-elicitation technique and interprofessional small-group work in the classroom to enhance the reflective learning experience of medical and nursing students. Data were collected from pre- and postquestionnaires and focus groups to explore shifts in perceptions toward older persons following the reflective learning session. The qualitative data revealed how using visual images of older persons provides a valuable learning space for reflection. Students found meaning in their own learning by creating shared storylines that challenged their perceptions of older people and themselves as future health professionals. These data support the use of visual methodologies to enhance engagement, reflection, and challenge students to explore and deepen their understanding in gerontology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-184
Number of pages18
JournalGerontology & Geriatrics Education
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2 Apr 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • gerontological education
  • interprofessional education
  • medical and nursing students
  • narratives
  • photo-elicitation
  • photographs
  • reflective practice

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