Clinical concept mapping: Does it improve discipline based critical thinking of nursing students?

Marzieh Moattari, Sara Soleimani, Neda J amali Moghaddam, Farkhondeh Mehbodi


Background: Enhancing nursing students’ critical thinking is a challenge faced by nurse educators. This study aimed at determiningthe effect of clinical concept mapping on discipline-based critical thinking of nursing students.

Materials and Methods: In this quasi-experimental post-test only design, a convenient sample of 4th year nursing students (N = 32)participated. They were randomly divided into two groups. The experimental group participated in a 1-day workshop on clinicalconcept mapping. They were also assigned to use at least two clinical concepts mapping during their clinical practice. Post-testwas done using a specially designed package consisting of vignettes for measurement of 17 dimensions of critical thinking innursing under two categories of cognitive critical thinking skills and habits of mind. They were required to write about how theywould use a designated critical thinking skills or habits of mind to accomplish the nursing actions. The students’ responses wereevaluated based on identifi cation of critical thinking, justifi cation, and quality of the student’s response. The mean score of bothgroups was compared by Mann-Whitney test using SPSS version 16.5.

Results: The results of the study revealed a signifi cant difference between the two groups’ critical thinking regarding identifi cation,justifi cation, and quality of responses, and overall critical thinking scores, cognitive thinking skills, and habits of mind. The twogroups also differed signifi cantly from each other in 11 out of 17 dimensions of critical thinking.

Conclusion: Clinical concept mapping is a valuable strategy for improvement of critical thinking of nursing students. However,further studies are recommended to generalize this result to nursing students in their earlier stage of education.

Key words: Concept mapping, critical thinking, Iran, nursing education, nursing process, students

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