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Med Educ. 2000 Jun;34(6):483-6.

Exploring the perceived effect of an undergraduate multiprofessional educational intervention.

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1
Department of Health Care Education, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK.

Abstract

CONTEXT:

Improved teamwork and greater collaboration between professions are important factors in effective health care. These goals may be achieved by including interprofessional learning in the undergraduate medical curriculum. The Faculty of Medicine at the University of Liverpool organized a pilot two-day multiprofessional course involving all the health care related disciplines.

OBJECTIVE:

The present study examined the perceived effect of the multiprofessional course on the work practice of these newly qualified health care professionals.

METHOD:

The views of former students who took part in the pilot course were collected using a semi-structured interview schedule and analysed using a qualitative data analysis software package QSR NU*DIST.

RESULTS:

Two main themes emerged. These centred around role knowledge and interprofessional attitudes. Data indicated that participants perceived the course to have increased their knowledge of the other professions and that this effect had persisted. Reported benefits to their working practice included facilitating appropriate referrals, increasing professional empathy and awareness of other professionals' skills, raising confidence and heightening awareness of the holistic nature of patient treatment. Participants reported forming negative attitudes towards other professions during their undergraduate education. They believed these had been partly encouraged by course tutors. The pilot course was perceived to have had had little effect on these attitudes. Changes occurred once the newly qualified professionals started work.

CONCLUSIONS:

The results support the idea that interprofessional educational interventions must be tailored to specific learning goals to be implemented successfully, and that interprofessional education should be prolonged and widespread to have a real impact.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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