Centre for Elderly and Nursing Home Medicine (SEFAS)
International student exchange

Medical student from Japan is doing research on data from Norwegian Nursing Homes

Erika Ito is a third year medical student at Tohoku University in Sendai in Japan and as part of her study she is four months in Bergen to do research.

Tohoku student exchange

Medical student Erika Ito (left) and supervisor Rui Nouchi on research and student exchange at Tohoku University, Japan.
Janne B. Bøe

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- I am working on data from a complex intervention study conducted by reserachers here at the Center for Elderly and Nursing Home Medicine (SEFAS) in Norwegian Nursing Homes, Erika Ito says.

The date comes from the COSMOS-study and Erika has chosen to focus on medicating patients with psycopharmaca (sleep medication, anti-depressants and so on) in relation to quality of life and activities of daily living.

Assosiate professor at the Insitute of Development, Aging and Cancer at Tohoku University, Rui Nouchi, is Itos supervisor and he says they expect their medical students to take part in the research done at their host university and are able to try to do research themselves. When the students return to Japan they will both give a presentation and wrote a report about their research experience.

What is Erika thinking after her first month at SEFAS?

- I have learnt how research on the primary health care and public health is conducted in Norway. Most of my classmates are doing research that includes white coats and experiements in a laboratory. I, on the other hand, am sitting in front of my computer and have to learn about how to access research literature, statistics and develop an understand of what the data is actually 'saying'.

Erika gave a presentation for the research group at SEFAS and her japanese supervisor of her preliminary findings in October. 

-Everything is new to me. Even making a presentation in English is something I have never done before, so I have to learn a lot of new skills. Is it demanding, but I have already learnt a lot about the process from data gathering to publication and how much work it requires. I think I will appreaciate the research literature I read for my medical studies much higher upon my return to Sendai, as I now know how much work there is in producing these research results, Erika continues.  

SEFAS has a high focus on user involvement in their research, something Erika in particular has noticed.

- The researchers here is trying to see and meet the patients and to interview patients and caregivers in order to find out what matters to them. I think this is the key to do high quality research on public health.

Erika has also made use of Bergens monutains and hiked from Ulriken til Fløyen.

- I am suprised by how many norwegians that spend a lot of time in their surrounding nature, ends Erika.