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Change in clinical practice in Australia: impact of participation in MHPN webinars

Barbara Murphy (Department of Psychology, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia) (Faculty of Health, Deakin University, Bundoora, Australia) (School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, Australia)
Kate Hoppe (Mental Health Professionals Network, Melbourne, Australia)
Chris Gibbs (Mental Health Professionals Network, Melbourne, Australia)
Deepika Ratnaike (DSR Consulting Group, Sydney, Australia)
Harry Lovelock (Australian Psychological Society, Melbourne, Australia)

Journal of Integrated Care

ISSN: 1476-9018

Article publication date: 29 December 2017

Issue publication date: 10 April 2018

154

Abstract

Purpose

The Mental Health Professionals’ Network (MHPN) was established to enhance collaborative care among health professionals working in mental health care in Australia. The MHPN has two primary arms: face-to-face network meetings and online webinars. The purpose of this paper is to investigate practice changes in health professionals who participated in one of MHPN’s live webinars.

Design/methodology/approach

Practice change was assessed by online survey with attendees from three MHPN webinars held in 2016. The survey link was e-mailed to webinar attendees three months after each webinar.

Findings

In total, 585 health professionals participated in the surveys. Four out of five respondents had made at least one practice change, particularly increased confidence in providing mental health care and increased discussions about other disciplines. General practitioners and psychologists were more likely than others to have made practice changes. Nine out of ten respondents rated the webinars as “very good” or “excellent.”

Research limitations/implications

MHPN’s webinar program positively impacts health professionals’ practice and represents an easily accessible and effective professional development opportunity for Australia’s mental health workforce.

Originality/value

The MHPN webinar program is unique in Australia. The MHPN provides opportunities for interdisciplinary professional development in the primary mental health sector. The model is highly cost effective and transferable to other settings and countries.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The MHPN initiative is funded by the Australian Commonwealth Department of Health. The authors gratefully acknowledge the ongoing support of the MHPN Chair Mr John McGrath AM, the MHPN Board, the member (APS, RACGP, RANZCP and ACMHN) and partner (AASW, OTA and ACRRM) organisations, and current and past MHPN staff members. The authors would also like to acknowledge the MHPN Evaluation Committee members. The appreciation of authors is also for the many health professionals who provided valuable feedback by completing the survey.

Citation

Murphy, B., Hoppe, K., Gibbs, C., Ratnaike, D. and Lovelock, H. (2018), "Change in clinical practice in Australia: impact of participation in MHPN webinars", Journal of Integrated Care, Vol. 26 No. 2, pp. 101-108. https://doi.org/10.1108/JICA-10-2017-0034

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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