Building Capacity In Australian Interprofessional Health Education: Perspectives From Key Health And Higher Education Stakeholders

Csiro Publishing
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Australian Health Review, 2011, 35 (2), pp. 136 - 140
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Abstract Objective. A substantial literature engaging with the directions and experiences of stakeholders involved in interprofessional health education exists at the international level, yet almost nothing has been published that documents and analyses the Australian experience. Accordingly, this study aimed to scope the experiences of key stakeholders in health and higher education in relation to the development of interprofessional practice capabilities in health graduates in Australia. Methods. Twenty-seven semi-structured interviews and two focus groups of key stakeholders involved in the development and delivery of interprofessional health education in Australian higher education were undertaken. Interview data were coded to identify categories that were organised into key themes, according to principles of thematic analysis. Results. Three themes were identified: the need for common ground between health and higher education, constraints and enablers in current practice, and the need for research to establish an evidence base. Five directions for national development were also identified. Conclusions. The study identified a range of interconnected changes that will be required to successfully mainstream interprofessional education within Australia, in particular, the importance of addressing issues of culture change and the need for a nationally coordinated and research informed approach. These findings reiterate those found in the international literature.
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