BMC Med Educ 2018 Jan 25;18(1):19. Epub 2018 Jan 25.
Institue of Family Medicine, Ratzeburger Allee 160, Haus 50, 23538, Lübeck, Germany.
Background: Interprofessional education is receiving increased attention worldwide. This has led to the development of a bachelor programme "Interprofessional Health Care" at the University of Heidelberg, Germany beginning in the winter semester 2011. Aim of this study was to evaluate the students' perception of this innovative programme regarding interprofessional learning.
Methods: An exploratory case study was conducted. A semi-structured guideline was developed and seven focus groups were performed with the students of the first three cohorts in 2012-2014. Data was transcribed and analyzed using content analysis leading to main categories, one of which was titled "interprofessional learning". This article presents the results focussing on the students' experiences regarding interprofessional education and learning during their first two semesters of the programme.
Results: Four main categories related to interprofessional learning were developed inductively. Students assessed "interprofessional learning" in general as positive and wished to encounter a more intense experience and collaboration with different health professions during their studies. Students reported to benefit from the programme due to a better understanding of other professions and their different perspectives. They described decreased hesitance to approach other health professions in every day practice. Results are in line with the four domains of the Interprofessional Core Competencies.
Conclusion: All in all students at an early stage recognized the benefit of interprofessional learning for their studies and their everyday work in practice showing the way forward for the bachelor programme and encouraging more interprofessional encounters with students from other health care programmes.