Educating for collaboration: The outcomes of an interprofessional education workshop for complementary and alternative maternity care providers

Publisher:
Elsevier
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Advances in Integrative Medicine, 2014, 1 (1), pp. 17 - 24
Issue Date:
2014-01
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Objectives: Despite high community use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) poor collaboration between conventional and CAM practitioners have been identified in many health sectors including maternity care. This is in part associated with a deficit in the formal training of CAM practitioners which overlooks collaborative practice skills and guidelines. This study evaluates the outcomes of an interprofessional education workshop which endeavours to improve the collaborative practice of CAM practitioners providing care to pregnant women. Methods: A pre-workshop and post-workshop questionnaire which evaluated the participants' perception of self-proficiency and their interprofessional practice behaviours when providing maternity care. Descriptive and inferential statistical analysis of the data was undertaken. Results: CAM practitioners (n = 30) providing care to pregnant women participated in the project. Prior to taking part in the workshop a low level of confidence in pregnancy-specific physiology and psychology knowledge more broadly but also poor confidence in engaging with conventional maternity care providers and understanding conventional models of maternity care was identified amongst participants. Participants who felt more positive about their knowledge of pregnancy and birth physiology were more likely to enquire about women's conventional care and discuss safety issues with women in their care. Following workshop involvement the participant's awareness of the models of maternity care available to Australian women improved alongside participants' knowledge of the scope and role of obstetricians and midwives. There was a reduced need by participants to have their role acknowledged by conventional care providers as important to enable effective collaboration after workshop completion. Conclusions: Interprofessional education is argued to be a valuable tool to promote interprofessional collaboration and communication. It may be employed as a useful tool to encourage stronger links and improved integration between CAM and conventional health professionals
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