Abstract

Inter-professional education (IPE) contributes to the development of an ‘inter-professional, collaborative and practice-ready’ healthcare workforce that is well prepared to respond to local healthcare needs. Little is known about the extent, to which health professional students who are nearing graduation understand the competencies of diverse health professions. The aim of this study was to investigate the perception of final-year undergraduate students’ towards interprofessional team working and their knowledge of the competencies of 6 health professions. This study evaluated the final-year health professional students’ from six (6) health professions programmes namely medical, dental, nursing, pharmacy, dietetics and biomedical sciences programmes. Attitudes towards Health Care Team Scale (ATHCTS) was used to measure students’ attitudes towards teamwork while a checklist was used measure students’ knowledge of 6 health professionals competencies. Construct validity was ascertain and findings from ATHCTS showed mean scores ranges from 48.57 to 54.23 indicating positive attitudes toward working within interprofessional health care teams. While the ACTHS findings were positive, the competencies checklist showed mixed findings in that students correctly identified some competencies and had misconceptions for others. For example, the majority of students regarded physicians as competent in ‘assessment and evaluation’ and ‘medication management’ while less than 50% of participants recognised the importance of assessment of patient’s health-illness as a competency for dieticians. Gaps identified in final year students’ knowledge of the roles and competencies of health professions has an impact on future interprofessional collaborative practice suggesting a need to further improve curriculum design and delivery of IPE.

Keywords:      Allied health, Inter-professional, Learning, Inter-professional education

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