Effective interprofessional working is widely claimed to enhance service delivery, user satisfaction, and most importantly, clinical outcomes. Achieving this position is proving difficult. Research suggests that strategies to enhance interprofessional collaboration should begin at the earliest possible opportunity to prevent negative stereotypes from developing. This project was an attempt to develop effective interprofessional education (IPE) across staff groups who work in the mental health arena (mental health nursing students and clinical psychology trainees).
Participants were whole cohorts of undergraduate mental health nursing students (n=11) in their second year of training (at the commencement of their “branch” programme), and trainees on the doctorate in clinical psychology (n=10) at the start of their first year of training. IPE sessions were facilitated by mental health nursing and clinical psychology academic staff and clinicians. Activities included creative group work and problem‐based learning. Seven sessions were delivered across over a 2 year period.
Qualitative and quantitative data from this two year project showed an increase in positive attitudes towards professionals from each profession over a two year period, though no overall improvement. Qualitative analysis of participant comments provided more encouraging support for improvement in attitudes, within the theme areas of teamwork and collaboration, professional identity, and roles and responsibilities. Overall, the project provided important information on building positive attitudes within the mental health workforce, while identifying challenges that need to be anticipated and addressed.
Few studies have explored IPE in mental health contexts, especially in the pre‐qualification arena.
Priest, H., Roberts, P., Dent, H., Hunt, T., Weston, D., Chell, A., Blincoe, C. and Armstrong, C. (2011), "Preparing for collaborative working in mental health: an interprofessional education project with clinical psychology trainees and nursing students", The Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice, Vol. 6 No. 1, pp. 47-57. https://doi.org/10.1108/17556221111136161
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