Elizabeth McQuillen’s paper on visual thinking strategies was accepted for publication

Mike Ilitch School of Business Professor Elizabeth McQuillen has been accepted for publication in Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy Association, which publishes a broad spectrum of research on art therapy, practice, professional issues and research.  

The article, titled “Using Visual Thinking Strategies to Enhance Observations Skills,” did not have a co-author.  

Art therapy and medical students (N=45) participated in Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) to 1) enhance observation skills, 2) examine interdisciplinary approaches to assessment, 3) determine VTS’ impact on awareness of implicit bias. Quantitative and qualitative questionnaires and a post-procedure reflective focus group evaluated participants’ baseline experiences and the perceived usefulness of VTS to influence observation and bias awareness.  Qualitative data indicated VTS improved observation skills and enhanced awareness of implicit biases. Although the one statistically significant result questioned students’ continued interest in VTS, 3 non-significant items on quantitative measures reflected gains regarding VTS to improve communication with patients, and to aid in determining implicit biases within health fields. The significance of VTS for art therapy and medical education is its potential to increase awareness of cultural biases that could impact assessment skills. 


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