Can a pre-graduate interprofessional education program result in transformative learning and maintenance of perceived interprofessional competencies in the workplace?

Author: Ben Taylor

Taylor, Ben, 2016 Can a pre-graduate interprofessional education program result in transformative learning and maintenance of perceived interprofessional competencies in the workplace?, Flinders University, School of Medicine

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A pre-graduate interprofessional program (the Get Ready program), which was dedicated

to students’ transition to become health professions was piloted for students from five

different health disciplines during their last year of pre-graduate study in New South Wales

(NSW) by the Health Education and Training Institute (HETI) and other partners in

November 2011. The pilot showed positive short-term outcomes in six interprofessional

competencies measuring teamwork, scope of roles, interprofessional communication,

interpersonal conflict resolution, patient/client-centred practice and collaborative

leadership. Following the pilot Get Ready program, HETI further developed it for use

across NSW. All Local Health Districts (LHDs) were offered a training and resource

package to implement the program locally. The overall aim of the program is the active

promotion and development of patient-centred, team-based care across NSW Health.

Since 2011, ten courses have been completed successfully across eight NSW LHDs and

Special Health Networks (SHNs), with over 200 pre-graduate students involved.

The aim of this study was to assess whether interprofessional competencies that were

taught during the Get Ready program in the pre-graduate stage of training can be

maintained over time once the students are in clinical practice. For example, can attitudes,

beliefs, and behaviours towards interprofessional learning and collaborative practice be

sustained? We also aimed to evaluate the impact of real life workplace experiences of

interprofessional collaborative practice (IPCP) on the participants, and to determine

whether these have led to further transformative learning in these domains.

This is a follow-up study using a mixed methods design with both a validated quantitative

interprofessional learning assessment tool and a qualitative component. The quantitative

tools used included the Interprofessional Socialisation and Valuing Scale (ISVS) (King,

Shaw, Orchard & Miller, 2010) and an on-line survey. The qualitative component consisted

of focused telephone interviews to build a deeper understanding of the Get Ready

participants’ experiences. The study was informed by Mezirow’s transformative learning

theory (Mezirow, 1981) and aimed to develop a better understanding of participants’

experiences regarding translation of interprofessional learning into practice.

The study demonstrated high initial mean ISVS scores for both medical and non-medical

participants. The scores showed a modest decline over time but still remained relatively

high overall after time in the workforce. The main themes to arise from a thematic analysis

were: reflection; breaking down barriers to IPCP; reassessing assumptions; transfer of

learning to practice; and improvements in patient care. Recommendations from this

research include undertaking further longitudinal studies involving greater numbers of

participants, which look into the various workplace factors that influence postgraduate

IPCP, other than pre-graduate IPE.

Keywords: Interprofessional , IPE, transformative learning

Subject: Health Education thesis

Thesis type: Masters
Completed: 2016
School: School of Medicine
Supervisor: Ms Lyn Gum