A two-week stay in an Interprofessional Training Unit changes students' attitudes to health professionals

Flemming Jacobsen, Susanne Lindqvist
Journal of Interprofessional Care 2009, 23 (3): 242-50
Attitudes amongst health professionals can impact on the effectiveness of teamworking and patient care. Interprofessional education (IPE) is thought to contribute to the development of positive attitudes. An Interprofessional Training Unit (ITU) was set up to create an optimal learning environment for healthcare students. Students' attitudes were assessed, using a version of the Attitudes to Health Professionals Questionnaire (AHPQ) that had been translated into the students' native language. This paper describes the process undertaken to obtain a trustworthy translation. One hundred and sixty two students from occupational therapy, physiotherapy, medicine and nursing completed the questionnaire before and after their stay at the ITU. Their responses were analysed in relation to the constructs "caring" and "subservient" from the validated English version of AHPQ. Echoing earlier studies elsewhere, at the beginning students viewed doctors as being the least "caring" and the least "subservient" professional group. Nurses were seen by the students as being the most "caring" and the most "subservient" profession. After the ITU experience students viewed most professions as more "caring" and less "subservient", apart from doctors, who were seen as being more subservient after the ITU experience. This study indicates that an IPE initiative such as the ITU can impact positively on students' attitudes and that the translated AHPQ can be used to monitor this attitudinal change.

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