Comparing and contrasting health profiles: one dimension of critical thinking

Alan Castle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Critical thinking skills are seen as being important for health professionals to operate effectively in a modern health care setting. As a result of this, for example, an undergraduate radiography curriculum involves defining, teaching and assessing appropriate components of critical thinking skills. Contents: Using the example of the radiography curriculum, the components of critical thinking skills are explained. These components include: investigation, interpretation, application, generation, evaluation and justification. Each of these components can be divided into two dimensions to encourage students to focus on a specific intellectual skill. One dimension of the investigation component is being able to compare and contrast information requiring students to understand, analyse and differentiate data from a range of sources. Since knowledge and understanding of the social context of health is important in the delivery of high quality care, the Health Profiles of England have been used to illustrate how students might go about demonstrating this skill. Conclusions: The worked examples involve analysing the data from two unitary authorities in order to identify key similarities and differences in people's health in each area and with the England average. Finally, possible reasons for any variations in terms of social, environmental and lifestyle factors were explored.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)345-352
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Therapy and Rehabilitation
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2010


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