An interprofessional education pilot program in maternity care: findings from an exploratory case study of undergraduate students

Filomena Meffe, Catherine Claire Moravac, Sherry Espin
Journal of Interprofessional Care 2012, 26 (3): 183-8
An interprofessional team of maternity care providers and academics developed a pilot interprofessional education (IPE) program in maternity care for undergraduate students in nursing, midwifery and medicine. There are few published studies examining IPE programs in maternity care, particularly at the undergraduate level, that examine long-term outcomes. This paper outlines findings from a case study that explored how participation in an IPE program in maternity care may enhance student knowledge, skills/attitudes, and may promote their collaborative behavior in the practice setting. The program was launched at a Canadian urban teaching hospital and consisted of six workshops and two clinical shadowing experiences. Twenty-five semi-structured, in-depth interviews were completed with nine participants at various time points up to 20 months post-program. Qualitative analysis of transcripts revealed the emergence of four themes: relationship-building, confident communication, willingness to collaborate and woman/family-centered care. Participant statements about their intentions to continue practicing interprofessional collaboration more than a year post-program lend support to its sustained effectiveness. The provision of a safe learning environment, the use of small group learning techniques with mixed teaching strategies, augmented by exposure to an interprofessional faculty, contributed to the program's perceived success.

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