Policy and theoretical foundations for interprofessional education
Policy support for IPEA collaborative practice approach, involving interprofessional teams of health care providers offering comprehensive and coordinated health care services, is a fundamental way to enhance the Canadian health care system. (Kirby 2002, Romanow 2002, Health Council of Canada, 2005).
The 2003 First Ministers Accord on Health Care Renewal identified the importance of changing the way health care professionals are educated. Interprofessional Education for Collaborative Patient-Centred Care (IECPCP) was identified both in the Accord and in the 2003 Federal Budget as a means to address current and emerging health and human resource issues. It is also seen as a mechanism to ensure that health care providers have the knowledge, skills and attitudes to practice together in an effective collaborative manner (Oandasan and Reeves, 2005).
Three foci of interprofessional educationBarr et al identify three overlapping, interconnected foci of interprofessional education.
Effective Interprofessional Education - Argument, Assumption and Evidence (2005) By Hugh Barr, Ivan Koppel, Scott Reeves, Marilyn Hammick and Della Freeth, p.34.
Barr et al explain: "The first of these focuses on establishing knowledge bases, acquisition of skills and the modification of attitudes and perceptions by individuals to pave the way for collaborative practice between professions, within and between organizations and with clients, their caregivers and communities. The second focuses on learning how to collaborate as a group or team-based activity, either directly between the parties (practitioners in the workplace) or by proxy (students during courses). The third focuses on purposeful collective action to effect change and improve the quality of services and care for clients, which becomes interprofessional education if and when learning is built in between the participant professions." (p. 34)
Theoretical Foundations for interprofessional educationWhile many interprofessional education initiatives do not refer to a guiding theoretical framework, a number of theoretical perspectives are relevant and could be used in planning and evaluating IPE initiatives. Barr et al1 mention eighteen different theories, assigned to the three foci for interprofessional education:
For more information about these theories, please refer to the publication by Barr et al referenced below, or some of the articles and books mentioned in the research section of this website.1 Effective Interprofessional Education - Argument, Assumption and Evidence (2005) By Hugh Barr, Ivan Koppel, Scott Reeves, Marilyn Hammick and Della Freeth