- provides a space devoted to the conceptual framework known as Hodges' model. Read about this tool that can help integrate HEALTH, SOCIAL CARE, INFORMATICS and EDUCATION. The model can facilitate PERSON-CENTREDNESS, CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT, HOLISTIC CARE and REFLECTION. Follow the development of a new website using Drupal (it might happen one day!!). See our bibliography, posts since 2006 and if interested please get in touch [@h2cm OR h2cmng AT yahoo.co.uk]. Welcome.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Naive holism, Hodges' model and a lesson from NeuroLinguistic Programming

The pen is mightier than the sword.

Words are indeed very powerful, which means we should be careful how we use them.

In the mid 1980s when artificial intelligence (AI) had a temperature well above normal limits, personal studies brought me to the words that represent commands in expert system and artificial intelligence applications. The question - how might language influence our expectations of such programs? In what was a major personal project at the time (which never saw the light of day - but whose effects may be evident in the main website and this blog?) I discovered and referenced work on problems discussed by McDermott (1985).

This included the choice of mnemonics used in AI programs, with McDermott comparing the mnemonics in two systems - Planner and Conniver.

True: things have moved on - but history, history....

Planner : Conniver
GOAL : FETCH & TRY-NEXT
CONSEQUENT : IF-NEEDED
ANTECEDENT : IF-ADDED
THEOREM : METHOD
ASSERT : ADD

Upon executing 'GOAL' or 'THEOREM' into a computer 'you can just feel the power at your fingertips. It is, of course, an illusion.'

'If a researcher tries to write an "understanding" program, it isn't because he has thought of a better way of implementing this well understood task, but because he thinks he can come closer to writing the first implementation.' Ibid.

Legally, today the world is very different and yet without care extreme enthusiasm and the market may blur our vision and (rather ironically) dull our reason; McDermott observes that:

'If he calls the main loop of this program "UNDERSTAND" he is (until proven incorrect) merely begging the question.' Ibid. p.144.

I believe there is a similar lesson in terms of 'holistic care'.

As the track is swept and the starting blocks are put in place for decision making in the clinical forum - what sense are the users to make of the language used? Will eagerness to engage ("wow!") the user community cause a false start and what might the impact be?

Words are like sub-atomic particles: strange, ordered, chaotic, true, honest, noisy, quixotic.

Repeat some over and over and they become nonsensical.

Repeat yet other words over and over at the behest of those who know and they
conjoin, concatenate
to become belief-bearing,
an energetic property with a sharp edge that can turn the tide of history
(departmentally, locally, nationally and globally).

Here are (just) two reasons why holistic care has proved so elusive:
  1. It is easy to add 'holistic' into care and ward/service philosophies and policies.
  2. Actually measuring holistic care is not straightforward, but the measures should be specified as the word is first used - enacted. (If the service in question has someone working in a professional practice development role this might well fall to them.)
The usual outcome is what we might call 'naive holism'. The word is there in policy (for all inspectors to see). There are concerted and authentic efforts to step beyond the physical and the interpersonal domains, but there is still much to do. As for the social and political - maybe tomorrow.

If such a thing is possible an evaluation of 'holistic bandwidth' would of course need to be done at upon completion of a care episode. Maybe there is a test...?

While physicists struggle on with it - perhaps String theory can assist us? More to follow....

McDermott D (1985) Artificial Intelligence Meets Natural Stupidity, In MIND DESIGN, Haugeland J (Ed), MIT Press, London, p.144-145.
(I hope the quote is correct - old notes - and no time to check, but you have the gist).

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Sunday, June 24, 2007

Well-being: a great place to be!

Working in mental health you certainly don't take mood, mental state and that nebulous notion of well-being for granted.

Depression is a terrible thing and given the thin red line that we all walk in terms of mental health, it's a place no one wants to venture.

There's a lot of emphasis being placed on well-being (happiness!) at present. The usual retinue of number of this and that measures count for little if at the end of the day well-being or the individual's happiness is not improved, or perhaps more accurately 'satisfied'.

Source: BBCWatching Glastonbury it's all about music and well-being amid lots of mud.

Well-being is taken for granted like so many things in life. Take it away and it's noticed - very quickly.

They say that the best lessons are those we learn for ourselves. Being lost and finding your way is another pivotal lesson. At key times and places this journey can be a rite of passage no less.

In order for health promotion to deliver, people need to understand well-being, that is the many ingredients that contribute to that feeling, that sense, that inner magic that lights us up and those around us...

Hodges' model can help people with that journey, especially at a time when a fellow traveller may be needed.

Health and social care services are so often about signposting these days.

Hodges' model can help people signpost for themselves...

Photo: BBC

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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

i3: Inclusion, Integration, Informatics

As well as studying Bortoft over several months (time...!), I've been reading Oberski's (2003) paper 'A Goethean way of seeing inclusively' (ref. below) which discusses inclusion within special education. The second page in - I sat up. Although the subject is education, inclusion and integration are central drivers in care service development and improvement. Let's face it, you can't read or listen anywhere without coming across 'i' this and that.

Usually, ask a philosopher to justify their existence and amongst other earnest pursuits they will point to their detailed critique and qualification of the way words are used in our routine daily lives, both domestic and working. They do us a great favour, as the world would grind to a halt if everyone was blinded by the light of uncertainty and what would be perpetual philosophical deliberations.

In this paper, Oberski refers to sources that highlight some crucial differences between inclusion and integration. In this context inclusion means the school must adjust to accommodate and include the child with special educational needs.

As for integration, it is the child [individual] who must 'fall-in-line' and match themselves to the institution the school.

Of course, [special needs] education is not health - is it? Whatever the extent of education within health and social care, it must play a far greater role in future. That's why distinctions like this are important.

The policy push is ongoing - integrated services, public involvement (inclusion?), patient engagement (self-assessment, carer assessment, self-care = inclusion?). How does all this fit together and :-

1. is it generally consistent?
2. are these terms consistent as applied across the h2cm domains:

- INTERPERSONAL; SOCIAL; SCIENCES and POLITICAL?

There's an exercise here if you care to try?

Actually, if inclusion and integration are not used consistently across the care domains, what does that mean for #1 and the general situation? Surely declaring a conflict of definition - should any exist - is as important as declaring a conflict of interest?

If a conflict is found do we freeze in panic, transfixed in the glare of uncertainty?

Or do we just play it cool. Reach for the sunglasses and watch as informatics pulls it all together?

Oberski, I. (2003). A Goethean way of seeing inclusively, Eur. J. of Special Needs Education, 18, 3, 333-340.

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Sunday, June 10, 2007

Northern England CHE group; links and Mind Canvas

The Northern England Centre for Human Ecology interest group are meeting on the 30th June at Sedburgh. I've no exact details as yet, but plan to attend even though the following w/e I'm off to Charleston for the SPT conference. My wife and daughter may come along, we've never been to Sedburgh before, so we could meet up again after the meeting and have tea up there....

Here are a few links including an interesting site called Mind Canvas.

http://www.slideshare.net/

Slide share is really cool and well worth exploring.

http://www.themindcanvas.com/demos/

At the above link you will find the following methods and visualizations you can explore. I like the category sorting example. Now what could we use that for...?

MindCanvas Methods
Research Method
Visualizations
OpenSort
Sort top 20 movies from American Film Institute
Dendogram (to see structure)
VocabularyBrowser (for labels)
SimilarityBrowser (to see similarity)
TreeSort
TreeSort study of movies & genres
CategoryBrowser
Divide-the-Dollar
Choose Cell phone features
WeightMap (for importance)
ClusterBrowser (to see groupings)
FreeListing
Cellphone freelisting study
List Map (for trends)
Sticky
What do you think of Gap design
CommentMap
Clicky
Quick: Find info on this Gap webpage
ClickMap

You can see how Web 2.0 makes it easier to create inviting interfaces and tackle quite complex research based questions. Could Web 2.0 also be a tool to support triangulation? This may still be quite a way off, but imagine what that could do for the research methods debate?

Anyway this reminds me: I've some slides to sort myself! Thanks for visiting.

To follow 'i3' - informatics, inclusion and integrated (and possibly Goethe).

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Friday, June 08, 2007

Holistic care 3: Location

Through February and March I looked at holistic care definitions and other aspects. Now for location.

The place to look for holistic care is literally everywhere. Every - where?

Well yes, if we take holistic to really mean holistic.

There is the obvious physical where that applies in the various care sectors such as; primary, secondary, community and tertiary care and the places they all encompass and contain. The locations associated with buildings and other architectural and organisational structures however permanent: hospitals, hostels, surgeries and clinics, homes, schools, prisons, refugee camps and workplaces - including inner and outer space.

The other where comprises the cognitive and virtual. Our thoughts about care, the thought processes and conscious decision making about care assessment, planning, intervention and evaluation. Except in specific psychoanalytical therapies the unconscious is a less frequently acknowledged and yet undoubtedly factor. If values are to have an origin and a safe harbour (governance) then a light must be cast on the darker, uncertain places. Accepting and utilising these places facilitates a holistic perspective, an adjunct to the more usual analytically derived views.

Speaking of analytical: recently, working on a 2nd temporary secondment, I've been preoccupied (and still am) with PROCESS and CONTENT. We tend to lose ourselves in process; the nursing process, care process, process mapping workshops abound. The problems take centre stage and because they are the patient's problems that qualifies the process as being person-centred. A tick goes in the box.

At times outside of medical emergencies this may be a mistake.

In deploying 'IT' the argument goes that the benefits of information technology in health care (various reports, effective case management, safer practice...) should be transparent, that is -

a by-product of the care process: not an add-on.

To me this suggests that the care process, the energy spent negotiating the care pathway produces a reaction. Informationally this reaction can be desirable. (I'll leave you to contemplate the alternative.)

If the person is truly at the centre of care then maybe the reaction can also be characterised as precession? Just as the Earth precesses on its axis, so our care processes result in precession around the person - the 'whole' individual and their situation at the centre of care?

But only IF we choose to take notice, factually, emotionally and informationally.

There's no disputing that care is frequently wobbly. But this oscillation can provide a periodic peek into the four (5) care domains.

At times these presentations, or windows of opportunity may be physically and emotionally draining, and arise in a highly disordered manner, they are nonetheless there.

Allied with a problem space, that other for me essential location of holistic care, you have a potentially very powerful tool.

I know this may be twaddle and I may be on shaky ground, but at least I'm trying to follow the wobble...

As highlighted previously there are alternate ways of seeing.

Before I close and follow a countdown: Thank you Darcy - a star on stage : GO STS 117 stars in space.

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Monday, June 04, 2007

Help Wanted: Arts, Media and Health Studies Students

It’s a regular student's dilemma: with assignment in hand find a worthy project that truly matches the brief and your creative talents.

For arts students a project that is in the form of a commission is highly desirable, reflecting the real world and future artist-client relationships. If there are any tutors reading, I (or h2cm) can provide several commissions, although I'm afraid without financial reimbursement. ...

The h2cm site would benefit from the attention of an artistic eye.

• A banner is still needed for the blog, preferably something that changes dynamically.

Here's one idea I worked up, but it's not exactly subtle?

2hcm banner image
• There are numerous images on the website that need a refresh of more than a coat of paint.

• Photoshop, Illustrator and other applications are often used to create montages. Hodges' model may at first appear blanc, but within the care domains lie hidden layers. A complex montage of ideas and concepts awaiting release and expression.

• If none of the above appeal, h2cm can help inspire and support any brief – being a regular smorgasbord for creative types.

Lecturers/tutors: if your students use Hodges' model from the outset, do they get extra marks if they include their 'working out - calculations'?

• I’ve often wondered about the model’s two axes being represented as a place.

What would it be like to take a walk along these streets illustrated using cut-outs of health and social care problems, solutions and issues like so many shop-fronts?

Over to you and as the (Northern) academic year closes - have a great holiday....

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