Posted on March 30, 2015

Mrs. Alida Naude successfully defended her PhD thesis,” Exploring ethical sensitivity in the South African context: Developing and implementing a measure in the therapeutic sciences”, on 19 March 2014. In this novel study, the promevenda used no less than 6 different sources, including a systematic review of literature (published in the International Audiology Journal),  in-depth interviews with experts in the field, focus groups with therapists at all 5 universities in South Africa that offer all four of the therapeutic sciences (occupational therapy, physiotherapy, speech-language therapy and audiology), the complaints register of the HPCSA, the online website (the latter two to obtain the viewpoint of consumers of therapeutic interventions) as well as  a panel review. She provided a clear justification as to why all of these stakeholder groups were important in developing the MIEST (Measuring Instrument for Ethical Sensitivity in the Therapeutic sciences). This was a mammoth task, and this comprehensive approach enabled her to make a construct, ethical sensitivity, which has always been believed to be not measurable, measurable. She completed her sequential mixed methods design by implementing the MIEST and demonstrating that a case study approach is effective in measuring ethical sensitivity, comprising 4 ethical principles (autonomy, justice, beneficence and non-maleficence) as well as 7 ethical skills (perspective taking, interpreting ethics in a situation, relating to others, understanding emotional expressions, effective communication, controlling social bias and perceiving and responding to diversity). This thesis was prepared under the supervision of Prof Juan Bornman, with Prof Rose Sevcik (Georgia State University, USA), Prof Brenda Louw (East Tennessee State University, USA) and Dr Alecia Samuels (Jonkoping University, Sweden) as external examiners.

Congratulations Alida, we are so proud of you! The discipline is ready to say goodbye to Mrs Naude and to welcome Dr Naude!

- Author Robyn White

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