Clinical Reasoning in the Health Professions


  • Joy Higgs, BSc, GradDipPty, MPHEd, AM, PhD, Strategic Research Professor in Professional Practice, The Research Institute for Professional Practice, Learning & Education (RIPPLE); Director, The Education for Practice Institute, Charles Sturt University
  • Mark Jones, BSc(Psych) Cert Phys Ther, Grad Dip Advan Manip Ther, MAppSc(Manip Ther), Program Director; Master of Musculoskeletal and Sports Physiotherapy, School of Health Sciences, University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia
  • Stephen Loftus, BDS, MSc, PhD, Pain Management Research Institute, Royal North Shore Hospital, Sydney, Australia; Senior Lecturer, Education for Practice Institute, Charles Sturt University, Australia
  • Nicole Christensen, MAppSc, PT, Assistant Professor, Doctor of Physical Therapy Program, Samuel Merritt College, USA; PhD candidate, University of South Australia, Australia

Clinical reasoning is the foundation of professional clinical practice. Totally revised and updated, this book continues to provide the essential text on the theoretical basis of clinical reasoning in the health professions and examines strategies for assisting learners, scholars and clinicians develop their reasoning expertise.
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Book information

  • Published: February 2008
  • ISBN: 978-0-7506-8885-7

Table of Contents

Section 1 Clinical reasoning and clinical decision making - nature and context

1. Clinical decision making and multiple problem spaces
2. The context for clinical decision making in the 21st century
3. Clinical reasoning and models of practice
4. Collaborative decision making
5. Action and narrative: two dynamics of clinical reasoning
6. Clinical reasoning and generic thinking skills
7. Clinical reasoning and patient-centred care
8. Factors influencing clinical decision making
9. Dimensions of clinical reasoning capability

Section 2 Reasoning, Expertise and Knowledge

10. The development of clinical reasoning expertise
11. Clinical reasoning and biomedical knowledge: implications for teaching
12. Expertise and clinical reasoning
13. Knowledge, reasoning and evidence for practice
14. Knowledge generation and clinical reasoning in practice
15. Understanding knowledge as socio-cultural historical phenomenon
16. Professional practice judgement artistry

Section 3 Clinical reasoning research trends

17. Methods in the study of clinical reasoning
18. A history of clinical reasoning research
19. A place for new research directions

Section 4 Clinical reasoning and clinical decision-making approaches

20. Clinical reasoning in medicine
21. Clinical reasoning in nursing
22. Clinical reasoning in physiotherapy
23. Clinical reasoning in dentistry
24. Clinical reasoning in occupational therapy
25. Ethical reasoning
26. Multidisciplinary clinical decision making
27. Treatment decision making in the medical encounter: the case of shared decision making
28. Algorithms, clinical pathways and clinical guidelines
29. Clinical reasoning to facilitate cognitive-experiential change

Section 5 Communicating about clinical reasoning

30. Learning to communicate clinical reasoning
31. Learning the language of clinical reasoning
32. Beyond the restitution narrative: lived bodies and expert patients
33. Facilitating clinical decision making in students in intercultural fieldwork placements
34. Using decision aids to involve clients in clinical decision making

Section 6 Teaching and learning clinical reasoning

35. Teaching and learning clinical reasoning
36. Helping physiotherapy sutdents develop clincial reasoning capability
37. Speech-language pathology students: learning clinical reasoning
38. Teaching clinical reasoning in nursing education
39. Assessing clinical reasoning
40. Using simulated patients to teach clinical reasoning
41. Peer coaching to generate clinical reasoning skills
42. Using open and distance learning to develop clinical reasoning skills
43. Cultivating a thinking surgeon: using a clinical thinking pathway as a learning and assessment process
44. Teaching clinical reasoning and culture
45. Teaching clinical reasoning to medical students
46. Using case reports to teach clinical reasoning
47. Using mind mapping to improve students’ metacognition