Interprofessional education is an approach to educating and training students and practitioners from different health professions to work in a collaborative manner in providing client and/or patient-centred care. The introduction and successful implementation of this educational approach is dependent on a variety of factors, including the attitudes of students, faculty, senior academic administrators (e.g., deans and directors) and practitioners. The purpose of this study was to examine attitudes towards interprofessional teamwork and interprofessional education amongst academic administrators of post-secondary health professional education programs in Canada. A web-based questionnaire in English and French was distributed via e-mail messaging during January 2004 to academic administrators in Canada representing medicine, nursing, pharmacy, social work, occupational therapy and physiotherapy post-secondary educational programs. Responses were sought on attitudes towards interprofessional teamwork and interprofessional education, as well as opinions regarding barriers to interprofessional education and subject areas that lend themselves to interprofessional education. In general, academic administrators responding to the survey hold overall positive attitudes towards interprofessional teamwork and interprofessional education practices, and the results indicate there were no significant differences between professions in relation to these attitudinal perspectives. The main barriers to interprofessional education were problems with scheduling/calendar, rigid curriculum, turf battles and lack of perceived value. The main pre-clinical subject areas which respondents believed would lend themselves to interprofessional education included community health/prevention, ethics, communications, critical appraisal, and epidemiology. The results of this study suggest that a favourable perception of both interprofessional teamwork and interprofessional education exists amongst academic administrators of Canadian health professional education programs. If this is the case, the post-secondary system in Canada is primed for the introduction of interprofessional education initiatives which support the development of client and patient-centred collaborative practice competencies.
The purposes of this study were to explore the perceived barriers and challenges to continuing professional education (CPE) access for Canadian health care professionals and to identify best practices for improving access to CPE.
Key informant interviews and Web-based online surveys were conducted.
Key informant interviews were conducted with national CPE accreditation bodies and health professional associations. An online survey was distributed to health professional education programs, as well as provincial professional associations, licensing and professional regulatory bodies.
The perceived barriers and challenges to CPE access for Canadian health care professionals and best practices for improving access to CPE.
Geographic isolation and poor technological and telecommunications infrastructure were identified as key barriers to CPE delivery and access. Financial factors, such as funding to support travel or cost of attendance, were also identified as major challenges. Tele-education programming was identified as a best practice approach to improve CPE access, as were regional CPE activities and self-directed learning programs. Employer-sponsored initiatives, including staff coverage or locum support, remuneration for time off and paid travel expenses for CPE participation were also identified as best practice approaches.
An evaluation study of an undergraduate HIV/AIDS interprofessional education program for medical, nursing and pharmacy students was undertaken to assess changes in role perception, attitudes towards collaboration, self-reported teamwork skills and satisfaction with a shared learning experience.
A combined one group pretest-posttest and time-series study design was used. Several survey instruments and observation checklists were completed by students and tutors before, during and after the educational program.
Students reported greater awareness of roles and the continuous exposure to interprofessional learning led to improved attitudes towards teamwork. Standardized patients were effective in fostering an experience of realism and motivating collaboration between students.
A problem-based learning approach combined with standardized patients was effective in enhancing HIV/AIDS interprofessional role perception, enhancing attitudes towards collaboration and interprofessional approaches to HIV/AIDS care and fostering confidence in teamwork skills among pre-licensure health sciences students.
There has been limited research on the effect of interprofessional education (IPE) over time on the attitudes of undergraduate health and human service professional students. Previous research in this area has suggested that students from different professions report differing attitudes towards IPE and interprofessional teamwork, and such attitudes may also be influenced by other background characteristics of the students themselves (e.g., gender, age). The purpose of this study was to evaluate the longitudinal effect of the introduction of an IPE curriculum on students' attitudes towards IPE and teamwork. A time series study design was conducted to assess the attitudes of undergraduate health and human service professional students towards IPE and teamwork, and students were also asked to complete satisfaction surveys after IPE curriculum activities. Significant differences in the attitudes of students from different professions and their satisfaction with participation in IPE were reported over the duration of the study. Overall, student satisfaction with IPE participation was relatively positive; however the introduction of IPE curriculum during their undergraduate education did not appear to have a significant longitudinal effect on attitudes towards IPE or interprofessional teamwork. The findings have implications for the design and integration of IPE curriculum within existing uni-professional curriculum.
In many countries the sustainability of rural health care systems is being challenged by a shortage of rural physicians and difficulties in recruiting and retaining physicians in rural practice. Research does suggest that specific medical education strategies can be introduced to enhance rural physician recruitment and retention initiatives. The purpose of this paper is to summarize the current strategies of Canadian rural medical education programs. A survey of all Canadian medical schools was undertaken to profile specific programs and activities at the undergraduate, postgraduate, and continuing medical education/continuing professional development (CME/CPD) levels. The majority of medical schools reported either mandatory or elective rural medicine placement/learning experiences during undergraduate medical education, as well as Rural Family Medicine streams or programs as components of postgraduate medical education. The majority of medical schools reported that they provide clinical traineeships to enhance clinical competencies in rural medicine as well as CME outreach programming, including the use of telehealth or distance learning technologies. Canadian medical schools all have substantial programs covering the full range of approaches found in the literature to help recruit and retain rural physicians. Not surprisingly, the most extensive programs are found in medical schools that have a specific rural mandate.