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Table 4 Physiology and pathophysiology topics ranked as moderate priority (3 – 3.99) by academics (ranking: 1 = lowest priority to 5 = highest priority)

From: Teaching science content in nursing programs in Australia: a cross-sectional survey of academics

Topic Mean/SD Range
Normal physiology and pathophysiology of:   
Musculoskeletal system   
Joint structure and function 3.53 ± 0.61 2-4
Muscle contraction 3.52 ± 0.60 2-4
Bone tissue – formation and growth 3.46 ± 0.66 2-4
Fracture and fracture repair 3.45 ± 0.61 2-4
Major infectious musculoskeletal diseases 3.33 ± 0.66 2-4
Locomotion 3.30 ± 0.70 2-4
Integument   
Major infections and diseases of integumentary system 3.63 ± 0.60 2-4
Wounds, burns and healing 3.50 ± 0.80 2-4
Formation and growth 3.21 ± 0.59 2-4
Cardiovascular system   
Vessels: heart, arteries, veins and lymph 3.88 ± 0.35 3-4
Peripheral resistance 3.83 ± 0.39 3-4
Cardiac output, Stroke volume 3.82 ± 0.40 3-4
Blood pressure and BP measurement 3.67 ± 0.81 2-4
Lymph nodes and lymph organs 3.55 ± 0.67 2-4
Major infections and diseases of cardiac system integumentary system 3.53 ± 0.74 2-4
Baroreceptor reflex 3.50 ± 0.52 3-4
Cardiac markers and disease 3.45 ± 0.82 2-4
Frank Starling Law of the Heart 3.41 ± 0.51 2-4
Foetal circulation changes 3.18 ± 0.66 2-4
Respiratory system   
Respiratory control 3.91 ± 0.30 3-4
Breathing mechanics 3.83 ± 0.39 3-4
Blood gas transport 3.78 ± 0.44 3-4
Haemoglobin – oxyhaemoglobin curve 3.73 ± 0.46 3-4
Major infections and diseases of respiratory system 3.69 ± 0.63 2-4
COPD and oxygen therapy 3.64 ± 0.51 3-4
Respiratory volumes - spirometry 3.60 ± 0.60 2-4
Gastro-intestinal system   
Liver and gallbladder 3.87 ± 0.35 3-4
Pancreas 3.85 ± 0.38 3-4
Role of hormones 3.65 ± 0.70 2-4
Digestion, absorption and metabolism 3.58 ± 0.52 3-4
Major infections and gastrointestinal diseases 3.57 ± 0.65 2-4
Major nutrients – food pyramid: proteins, carbohydrates and lipids 3.53 ± 0.63 2-4
Glucose metabolism and ATP production 3.47 ± 0.74 2-4
Enzymes 3.47 ± 0.62 2-4
Phases of digestion 3.39 ± 0.70 2-4
Salivary glands 3.22 ± 0.74 2-4
Neurological system   
ANS – parasympathetic and sympathetic 3.90 ± 0.32 3-4
PNS – reflexes, sensory receptors 3.77 ± 0.44 3-4
CNS – brain and spinal cord 3.73 ± 0.47 3-4
Synapses and neuromuscular function 3.72 ± 0.58 2-4
Major infections and neurological diseases system 3.72 ± 0.58 2-4
CSF production and flow 3.59 ± 0.59 2-4
Pain 3.57 ± 0.85 2-4
Membrane potentials, action potentials neurotransmitters 3.56 ± 0.63 2-4
Fight and flight response 3.55 ± 0.52 3-4
Integrative properties of neurons 3.40 ± 0.60 2-4
Neuroglia 3.38 ± 0.75 2-4
Special senses: taste, vision, hearing, balance, smell 3.38 ± 0.74 2-4
Reproductive system   
Male and female 3.74 ± 0.56 2-4
Endocrine control 3.72 ± 0.46 3-4
Major infections/diseases of the reproductive system 3.50 ± 0.62 2-4
Pregnancy 3.42 ± 0.77 2-4
Contraception 3.38 ± 0.74 2-4
Embryonic and foetal development 3.30 ± 0.70 2-4
Parturition and foetal changes at birth 3.19 ± 0.68 2-4
Fertilization, implantation 3.13 ± 0.82 2-4
Fertility 3.05 ± 0.67 2-4
Renal system   
Normal and abnormal constituents of urine 3.91 ± 0.30 3-4
Acidosis and alkalosis 3.82 ± 0.40 3-4
Renal dialysis 3.61 ± 0.58 2-4
Major infections and diseases of renal system the renal system 3.59 ± 0.71 2-4
Endocrine system   
Homeostasis 3.86 ± 0.38 3-4
Hormone control, neuroendocrine axis 3.83 ± 0.39 3-4
Biology of cancer 3.59 ± 0.62 2-4
Mechanisms of hormone release 3.53 ± 0.51 3-4
Immune system   
Non-specific and specific body defenses 3.92 ± 0.29 3-4
Active and passive immunity 3.83 ± 0.39 3-4
Infection and biological response 3.70 ± 0.68 2-4
Autoimmune disease 3.60 ± 0.60 2-4
Humoral and cell-mediated immunity 3.56 ± 0.63 2-4
Immunodeficiency 3.55 ± 0.51 3-4
Hypersensitivity 3.50 ± 0.51 3-4
Antigens 3.31 ± 0.60 2-4
Tissue transplantation 3.00 ± 0.74 2-4
Genetics   
Human genetic disorders, principles of screening 3.50 ± 0.61 2-4
Coding from DNA to protein production 3.33 ± 0.77 2-4
Basic patterns of human inheritance 3.40 ± 0.60 2-4
DNA genes and chromosome structure 3.29 ± 0.64 2-4
Mitosis and meiosis – development of ova and sperm 3.05 ± 0.67 2-4