A model development for an interdisciplinary approach to patient care: a case for curriculum development
The complexity of human health and its determinants has been developing gradually and the means to attend to them has gone beyond the scope of a specific health discipline. Advocacy is underway by health stakeholders such as the World Health Organisation (WHO), higher learning institutions and individual scholars to incorporate interprofessional practice initiatives in health as a means of ensuring that health practitioners share ideas communicate and collaborate in order to put forward a comprehensive management plan for patients. These initiatives seek to ensure that a problem that could hardly be solved uniprofessionally is shed light on. The University of the Western Cape (UWC) is among the universities in the world that have incorporated an Interdisciplinary Core Courses Curriculum to be undertaken by all undergraduate students enrolled in the Faculty of Community and Health Sciences (FCHS) hence aiming at producing graduates who are collaboration conscious in their practice. This effort adds into the UWC’s endeavor of producing socially responsible graduates. This study analysed the UWC curriculum in order to ascertain its cognitive rigor for delivery of the interprofessional competencies. It further sought to identify whether the effort that the FCHS is putting through the Interdisciplinary Core Courses in having an impact on the perceptions of final year students during their field work placements in various health care institutions. The study also sought to find out whether the health care institutions practice policies are interprofessional practice friendly. Finally, the views and perceptions towards interprofessional collaboration (IPC) of institutional manager’s for institutions where UWC places more than one discipline of students for practice were explored.