Developing Interprofessional Competence : Theoretical and Empirical Contributions

University dissertation from Linköping : Linköping University Electronic Press

Abstract: Background: Different professions meet and work together in teams every day in health and social care. In order to idenUiy and deliver the best quality of care for the patient, the teamworkers need to be both professionally and interprofessionally competent. How can higher education prepare teamworkers to be both professionillly and interprofcssionally competent? This thesis seeks to contribute theoretically and empirically to this issuc. A starting point for interprofessional education (WE) worldwide was when WHO presented a document entitled "Leaming Together to Work Together for Bdter Health". The basic idea in this strateg)' was that it is favourable for undergraduilte students and the development of their own professionill identity to experience other professions in health and sodal sectors as earlyas during their undcrgraduate studies. Inherent in this scheme is that the various professions will work together in practice. Thc overall winner in this new thinking about education and professionai prLlctice would be the patient. One of the Hrst systematic attempts to organize IPE academically was initiated in 1986 at the Faculty of Health Sciences (FHS) at Linköping University in Sweden. The "Linköping Model" has now yielded 25 yeilrs of practical experience and development of IPE curricula.Aims: The overall aims of this thesis to define, describe and measure effects and outcomes of interprofessional education/learning.Methods: In the research papers theoretical, aualitative and quantitative methods have been used.Results: The newly registered medical doctors educated at the FHS at Linköping University and exposed to WE and PBL reported more confidence (p < 0.0001) that their lIndergraduate studies had given them interprofessional skilIs and abilities to collaborate with other professions than medical students from all other medical faculties in Sweden. Nurses who hild been exposed to interprofessional curricula during their undergraduate education ilt FHS reported to greater extent (p = 0.003) that they were prepared to work as a nurse. Furthermore, they also reported to a greater extent (p < 0.0001) that their undergraduate education hild prepared them to work with other healt care professions. Other findings in this thesis wcre that female tudents in generill and nursing students had a more positive view of interprofessional learning and were more open-minded about collaboration with other professions. Only to a minor extent did exposure to a more extensive interprofessional curriculum promote a positive attitude towards teamwork.Conclusions: A major challenge to modern health care is the need for more interprofessional teamwork to improve the safety and quality of patient-centred care. This thesis indicates some directions for more successful interprofessional education.

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