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J Can Dent Assoc. 2003 Nov;69(10):658.

Evolution of interprofessional learning: Dalhousie University's "From Family Violence to Health" module.

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School of Health Services, Administration, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.


At Dalhousie University, interprofessional (IP) learning modules are used to help future health care professionals learn to work together in resolving complex problems. One module, "From Family Violence to Health," features the role of dental professionals. This paper describes the evolution of this module from the year 2000. By February 2003, 1,182 students from 15 health care professions had completed the module. Qualitative evaluation in years 1 and 2 of the program (2000 and 2001) revealed that, before participating in the IP module, many students were able to identify a role for themselves in the recognition of family violence and knew their responsibility to report incidents. However, after participating in the module, they had a greater understanding of the reporting of family violence, a more comprehensive and supportive perspective, increased recognition of how health care professionals could work together and improved awareness of the roles of other professions. In a quantitative evaluation in year 3 (2002), mean student ratings on a scale of 1 to 5 indicated that the IP module was relevant (4.2), increased their understanding of family violence (4.0), and had some impact in promoting IP learning (3.8). As health care delivery becomes more focused on care teams and system thinking, the provision of IP training is expected to increase. The Dalhousie University IP modules (available at address health and social problems for which it is critical that health care and other professionals work together. Feedback from practitioners on the development of IP education is welcomed, particularly with regard to the IP module addressing family violence.

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