Gérard Filies and the Deputy Vice Chancellor: Research and Innovation at UWC, José Frantz.

Congratulations to Gérard Filies, secretariat of AfrIPEN, who recently obtained his PhD at the University of the Western Cape, South Africa. His wife obtained her PhD at the same ceremony.

Title: Development of an Interprofessional Education Model that Aims to Instil the Core Competencies of Interprofessional Collaborative Practice in Allied Health Students Curriculum

Abstract: Health Professions Education has not prepared graduates to address the health challenges of the twenty first century, largely due to fragmented, outdated and static curricula. Interprofessional education (IPE) is a leading approach to facilitate student learning for future interprofessional teams in addressing the complex health needs of the community. To achieve this outcome, different core competencies need to be developed, including 1) interprofessional communication; 2) patient/client/family/community-centred care; 3) role clarification; 4) team functioning; 5) collaborative leadership and 6) interprofessional conflict resolution. This study aims to design an interprofessional education model that endeavours to instil the core competencies of interprofessional collaborative practice in allied health students. This study makes use of a  mixed methods approach and included a systematic review; a readiness for interprofessional education survey; a Delphi study; curriculum mapping and model design aspects.. The data collection methods used included both quantitative and qualitative methods. The study population for the implementation phase incorporates students from the disciplines of Nursing, Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Natural Medicine and Social Work registered for the 2015/2016 academic year. The methodological framework for this study was Designed Based Research (DBR).

Major findings in the research study are: the systematic review revealed that there are no South African studies currently in the literature that provide evidence of IPE core competency development in curriculum design; findings in this research reveal that the readiness for interprofessional learning increases along the continuum of learning at UWC and that the curriculum must be scaffolded and strengthened to further develop competencies; the preferred activities that are common across all the core competencies are case studies, joint clinical placements, simulations, role plays and workshops/discussions; the preferred assessments for each of the above activities that related to each of the core competencies are portfolios, reflection and the use of rubrics; and there appear to be similarities between graduate attributes and IPE core competencies, but much-needed further discussions are also required to discuss the items where no similarities are found.

Embedding competencies along the continuum of learning with appropriate activities and assessment methods is a step in the right direction towards producing T-shaped graduates that are able to work collaboratively to solve complex problems. An important limitation of this thesis is that it presents only the design of the IPE model and not the implementation and evaluation aspects of the study. In general, it is recommended that the barriers to full participation encountered by all departments be addressed in terms of administrative support, programme infrastructure, attraction of committed and experienced staff, and that all student efforts should be acknowledged.  While the model is not new, it has expanded existing theoretical frameworks to provide a structure for new and existing activities in the Faculty of Community and Health Sciences.

Download the Final PhD Dissertation 01062018_Gerard Filies