NEEDS ASSESSMENT FOR TRAINING IN INTER-PROFESSIONAL COMPETENCES: A DELPHI STUDY
Despite the importance of appropriate inter-professional collaboration in healthcare, it is still insufficiently taught in medical education. The aim of the study was to identify the relevant themes and competences related to inter-professional education and find a consensus on inter-professionalism among health professionals in the context of primary care, and the objective of a closer collaboration between the University of Applied Sciences Healthcare professionals, the Faculty of Sciences and the Faculty of Medicine in Geneva, Switzerland.
A Delphi electronic survey was carried out in 2011. Invited participants comprised 12 categories of health professionals including practitioners, trainers and trainees from Switzerland. During the first round, practitioners working in primary care were asked to describe two personal situations of good and poor inter-professional collaboration. Trainers and trainees were asked to suggest themes and competences to be included in an "inter-professional" program. A first list of themes and competences for inter-professionalism collaboration was then extracted. During the second round, the same participants were asked to validate these lists. On the third round, participants were asked to prioritize them.
Seventy two participated to the first round and 43 to the third round. Patient communication, case management of chronic conditions, therapeutic patient education, health promotion and prevention, ethics and medication were the most important themes identified. “Defining, sharing tasks and responsibilities between professionals” was the most important competence. Sub analysis revealed that both themes and competences differed between health professional categories.
The survey helped identify key themes and competencies needed to develop an inter-professional training program in the context of primary care and initiate collaboration among health professional educators in this field. Further research should explore to which extent the differences of perceptions observed between health professionals’ relate more to their professional identify and/or the health care organization in Switzerland.