Hodges' Model: Welcome to the QUAD: August 2008

- learn about the conceptual framework Hodges' model. A tool that can help integrate HEALTH and SOCIAL CARE, INFORMATICS and EDUCATION. The model is situated, facilitates person-centredness, integrated - holistic care and reflective practice. A new site using Drupal is an ongoing aim - the creation of a reflective workbench. Email: h2cmng @ yahoo.co.uk Welcome

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Drupalcon 2008 Szeged, Hungary

Attila József Study and Information CentreI'm writing this from the Attila József Study and Information Centre here in the beautiful city of Szeged, southern Hungary - the venue for Drupalcon. The main sessions ended yesterday and today it's the code and documentation sprint.

There are a lot of heads buzzing and fingers itching to put new found pearls of Drupal wisdom into practice. The sense of 'community' here is amazing and as many people have said it's been an awesome experience (and a totally +ve distraction) for me.

All the main and birds of a feather sessions I've attended have been excellent in getting me to the point were I must make my fingers drupy from coding. I really need to get to publish a Drupal site and get some feedback about what people want to see, hear and think about. The suggestion of a 'beta' site is a great idea put to me this week.

The Drupal community also has an eye on the semantic web and several sessions have focussed on this essential trend. There are some modules here that could really support the learning and other objectives for Hodges' model:

  • hierarchical select
  • taxonomy manager
In addition to a talk on hierarchical select, yesterday there was an equally cool presentation on The Neologism Project:
Neologism is a simple web-based RDF Schema vocabulary editor and publishing system. Use it to create RDF classes and properties, which are needed to publish data on the Semantic Web.
So many challenges, much to think about and most of all much to do.

Many, many thanks to Dan, James and Mikelis for your help and support this past week - and the NW England Drupal crew.

Well I have to say it:
Drupal and this community of people absolutely Rock!

Now to check some documentation and listen in to code sprint.

Image sources: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/University_of_Szeged

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Hodges' model: Background - Foreground and the Space Between

If there is one thing that h2cm exemplifies it is distance.
It is after all a four-way signpost.
Seven-way (and more) if we include past, now and future
and wrap these in a spiritual domain.

The novice coming to study and explore the periplus (Cunliffe, 2001) that is health and social care (plus informatics), is presented with a daunting and yet exciting coastline.

The curriculum the new learner must navigate ('negotiate' literally via learning contracts) lies before them the challenge heightened by several vanishing points on several horizons.

Our senses are designed to quantify and our intellect to qualify this thing we call distance. Distance within conceptual spaces and the semantic web is all about semantics: the meaning of the terms we use in everyday and specialised languages.

If it is not a case of begging the question, consider the key concepts that comprise an explanation of h2cm.

Declare one concept, for example, ‘individual’ and we create a semantic singularity (in the sense of conceptual plurality not noun?). As soon as we add another concept, such as 'group' a conceptual space (the h2cm grid or matrix) is created.

The axes of h2cm are not passive.
They provide a spatial and cognitive scaffold.
Like gravity each concept is related to others by an all pervasive force.

The force here while not physical, it is universal in the sense that every concept is associated with the others by virtue of their similarity. Even if not physical in that arc of the diver sense, this similarity can be calculated and can be represented computationally within a computer program or virtual reality environment – the force potentially represented as feedback.

Gardenfors, P. (2000). Conceptual Spaces, MIT Press, London.
Cunliffe, B. (2001). The Extraordinary Voyage of Pytheas the Greek, Penguin.
semantic singularity? I thought of singularity in the astronomical sense at first, but found ...
Levy, P. (2008). Beyond Semantic Web SEMANTIC SPACE

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Transdisciplinary Research: Supplement in American Journal of Preventive Medicine

Sometimes being turned on by conceptual frameworks, transdisciplinary studies, paradigms and other esoteric sounding - blue skies stuff, you wonder if you are being just a tad grandiose. Your lip gets bitten especially when you are not being paid to think and write in this way and your doing so has major repercussions for the people in (and out) of your life. ...

Transdisciplinary research studies is far from new (have a scroll through Links I 2nd row - 'Theology / Inter - Transdisciplinary Studies'), but it is still very reassuring for me to see transdisciplinarity feature in a supplement of the latest American Journal of Preventive Medicine:

Thomas Kuhn wrote is his classic book, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, that paradigm shifts occur in science when the old ways of making sense of the world are no longer useful or appropriate. The need for a transdisciplinary approach to the study of health and disease is critically needed because the traditional silo approach to these issues clearly is not adequate to the challenges we face. As has been noted, we are not able to identify many disease risk factors; even when we do successfully identify risk factors, it is difficult for people to change their behavior to change their risk profile; and even if people do change their behavior, new people continually take their place because we have failed to identify many of the fundamental societal forces that cause the problem in first place. A new paradigm is needed.
Syme, S.L. (2008).
Other papers in the supplement include:

  • Enhancing Transdisciplinary Research Through Collaborative Leadership
  • Evaluation of Interdisciplinary and Transdisciplinary Research: A Literature Review
  • The Social Determinants of Cancer: A Challenge for Transdisciplinary Science
  • Challenges for Multilevel Health Disparities Research in a Transdisciplinary Environment
  • The Role of Transdisciplinary Collaboration in Translating and Disseminating Health Research: Lessons Learned and Exemplars of Success
If you come across other transdisc resources please let me know through the main site.

Syme, S.L. (2008). The Science of Team Science: Assessing the Value of Transdisciplinary Research, American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Volume 35, Issue 2, Supplement 1, August, Pages S94-S95. (two pages 18 refs).

Monday, August 11, 2008

Hodges' model as background....

H2cm provides a filter, helping learners and experts alike, to make sense of the noise and background, as Winograd and Flores (1986) explain:

‘… background is a pervasive and fundamental phenomenon. Background is the space of possibilities that allows us to listen to both what is spoken and what is unspoken. Meaning is created by an active listening, in which the linguistic form triggers interpretation, rather than conveying information. The background is not a set of propositions, but is our basic orientation of ‘care’ for the world.’ p.57-58.
Source: Winograd, T., Flores, F. (1986). Understanding Computers and Cognition, Addison-Wesley.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Hygiene: Hand wringing and Hand washing

Personally at the moment - and for some months to come - I’ve a lot of hand wringing to do. Ever future facing, while I get on with that - I’m reminded of the ongoing crusade for hygiene in hospitals and other clinical and care environments.

While 'hygiene' does not always seem to have the desired reach that health protection / infection control managers and Trust Boards would like - there are other examples. In mental health - after Clifford Beers - we speak of mental hygiene. In community nursing we commonly speak of sleep hygiene. So (grab the Horlicks) let’s check the sheets for unnecessary creases and see if we can’t improve things as heads are laid on pillows.

There is another form of hygiene which people* in many countries are having to practice at present: economic hygiene. A stock take of income and outcome. Of course, organisations do this when budgets are tight. In health and social care managers quickly identify the soft belly of savings that can be made.

Take the hygiene too far though and obsessive hand-washing becomes a problem.

(Could Hodges' model encourage a tendency for over-thinking? Does it provide evidence for those who characterise  reflection as navel-gazing and prevarication?)
For health care providers given the priority of nursing (the front-line!) administration is an easy target for savings.

There are new dependencies now though. The balance between admin and nursing duties has become blurred, with the arrival of IT AND paper systems.

So clearly - wash your hands according to the policy and latest evidence-based advice, but do take care that admin does not get washed away in the process.

*Me too!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Big pictures: Hodges’ model and Future Studies

I came across a 1996 paper by Richard Slaughter - The Knowledge Base Of Futures Studies As An Evolving Process. The paper highlighted a problem faced by future studies which was (and still may be?) grappling with its knowledge base:

Why, then, is it necessary to have a knowledge base of futures studies (KBFS)? There are several reasons. First, as Norwegian futurist Kjell Dahle pointed out at the World Futures Studies Federation conference in Barcelona in September 1991, the lack of a common knowledge base greatly complicated the work of those preparing courses, planning research, teaching and developing FS projects. The field is well known for its breadth, geographical scope and range of disciplinary paradigms. Where, in all this diversity, should newcomers, particularly intending students, begin? …
As also cited on the h2cm website Slaughter notes the significance of Wilber’s quadrants as a key resource and approach -

I have referred to this work at some length because over several years Wilber’s developing account has reframed my own thinking about present and future options, both personal and collective. Such a framework integrates insights from a wide field and provides FS with powerful new understandings and tools which go beyond one-dimensional thinking (e.g. rationality, technique, forecasting) and a single privileged culture (Western culture). Here, then, is an emerging basis for big-picture thinking and action into the new millennium and beyond. Here too is where some of the most substantial developments in the KBFS are likely to occur.
[My emphasis.]
Health and social care is not only focused on the future -

It is concerned about the PAST, NOW and FUTURE

- BUT it is always future oriented.

So future studies community look over here – now (please!)

Source: Slaughter, Richard A. (1996). The Knowledge Base Of Futures Studies As An Evolving Process, Futures, 28, 9, 799-812.

Monday, August 04, 2008

The socio-tech and conceptual space papers

I'm living elsewhere (where I 'grew up') ... and am off-line at present following and adjusting to major personal and domestic changes. Amid the chaos and while internet access is sorted some good news:

- the socio-technical structures in nursing informatics book chapter should be published in April 2009.

The conceptual spaces-Hodges' model paper (more - an exercise in learning)) is now 10k words and 50+ references. What does not make it to the final copy could certainly feature on this blog.

At present for want of distractions I feel I could carry on writing this paper forever (well almost) or travel a long way for quite a while. ...

to follow admin-nursing and 'hygiene'.