Boettcher, Aisha, Cording, Linda; Käuper, Kristin Maria & Busch, Susanne (2016). Think outside the box - Interprofessional collaboration starts in the mind of teachers. International Journal of Health Professional, 3 (1)29-36.


Studies indicate positive effects of interprofessional collaboration on the quality of health care. Interprofessional academic education of health care professionals is mentioned as being crucial for successful cooperation, although Terizakis & Gehring state “a genuine understanding of interprofessional teaching […] hasn´t developed yet.” (Terizakis & Gehring, 2014, p. 24). The undefined usage of terminology and coexisting interprofessional study programs are only one part of the problem. Further consented interprofessional learning concepts and systematic knowledge regarding competencies and teaching experiences are lacking. The WHO recommends lecturers to generate a common understanding of interprofessionality (WHO, 2010, pp. 27 et seq.). At Hamburg University of Applied Sciences a part-time study program in interprofessional health care and management started in September 2015. It was designed as a continuing education program for occupational-, physio-, and speech therapists, nurses and midwives. As a preparation for the program three focus group discussions with staff members of the department „Pfege & Management“ were conducted in January 2015. The aim was to investigate their understanding of interprofessionality, learning and teaching. The focus groups lasted for 1.5 hours; they were recorded, transcribed and analyzed using content analysis. The results indicated a contextual understanding of interprofessionality, although the usage of the terminology remains blurred. The tension of a congruent interprofessional learning concept is to enhance scientific reflection of disciplines, as well as strengthening interprofessional aspects. Regarding the change in demands of the health care system, interprofessional collaboration is seen as a mayor resource. The research gap on disciplinary orientations in terms of enhancing professional identity on the one and interprofessionality as innovative construct on the other hand has to be filled.

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