Systematic development and refinement of a contextually relevant strategy for undergraduate medical ethics education: a qualitative study

Muhammad Shahid Shamim, Adrienne Torda, Lubna A. Baig, Nadeem Zubairi, Chinthaka Balasooriya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Delivery of medical ethics education is complex due to various reasons, compounded by the context-dependent nature of the content. The scarcity of relevant resources in the contexts of some developing countries adds a further layer of difficulty to ethics education in these contexts. We used a consultative approach with students, teachers and external experts to develop a practical approach to medical ethics education. This study aimed to develop and refine a contextually relevant approach to ethics education in the region of Saudi Arabia. Methods: The study utilised an explorative qualitative methodology to seek views of students and faculty of Rabigh Faculty of Medicine, Saudi Arabia, and international experts in the field of ethics and education to review and enhance a new ethics learning strategy which included a workbook-based tool. Three focus groups with 12 students, in-depth interviews with four faculty members and qualitative feedback from eleven external experts enabled the study participants to objectively critique the WBEL and provide feedback to enhance its quality. Thematic content analysis of the data was done to draw inferences which were used to refine the educational strategy. Results: The analysis generated twenty-one sub-themes within four main themes: design features, content, teaching methods and assessment. These findings helped to design the educational strategy to improve its effectiveness in the given context. Conclusion: The study drew on the views of students, faculty and external experts to systematically develop a novel approach to ethics education for countries like Saudi Arabia. It also demonstrated the use of the consultative approach for informing a culturally relevant educational strategy in the Middle East context.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9
JournalBMC Medical Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Educational strategy
  • Ethics
  • Undergraduate medical education
  • Workbook


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