Typically interprofessionalism is defined as two or more health care team members from differing professions working together productively, each making unique contributions to common goals.
There is a prevalent view that encouraging interprofessionalism leads to enhancements in the ways healthcare professionals relate, interact and communicate, with resulting gains in quality of care and patient safety .
It invites interventional researchers to take a multi-level, multi-pronged approach.
The aims of the present study were to investigate whether: 1) Initiatives, workshops and activities supported by the intervention achieved their goals, 2) Attitudes of health staff toward IPL and IPP became more favourable during the course of the study as measured at yearly intervals and 3) Health staff judged the intervention had achieved its goals.
Seven investigators with expertise in social psychology, medicine, patient safety, science, allied health, statistics, nursing and economics contributed to this study.
By professionalism we mean the expertise, challenges and autonomy that characterise practitioners' clinical work.With some target groups, more frequent interactions encompassing personalised contacts and scheduled meetings with participants were invoked.This was an approach we labelled 'formative evaluation feedback loops' (FEFLs) [ ACT Health had 4,996 staff (full-time equivalent) in 2010, a slight increase from 4,869 at the beginning of the study, serving a population of almost 352,000. Questionnaires were distributed at meetings to approximately 74% of clinical teams and units.Over time staff scores on Heinemann's Quality of Interprofessional Care subscale did not change significantly and scores on the Doctor Centrality subscale increased, contrary to predictions.Scores on the RIPLS subscales of Teamwork & Collaboration and Professional Identity did not alter.Ethics committee approval for this project was given by the UNSW Social/Health Research Human Research Ethics Advisory Panel [approval number 09-10-006] and ACT Health Ethics Committee [approval number ET.3/07.2740].] stimulated reflection by health professionals and identified or helped initiate IPC projects.This involved purposefully ranging across organisational hierarchical levels and divisional boundaries and silos, working with diverse participants and groups, focusing on cultural, interprofessional and process improvements.Socio-ecological theory eschews single method studies, instead proposing that the dynamic interconnections between behaviour and complex environments must be taken into account for change to occur .Demonstrating this causal chain has proven difficult, and showing controlled or sustained improvements in IPC has challenged researchers.Some studies with randomised controlled designs have demonstrated IPC gains. Building on this research, we deployed an action research team to the field to strengthen health professionals' IPC endeavours across the Australian Capital Territory's health system (ACT Health) over four years , we designed interventional activities to make concerted efforts to stimulate increased interprofessionalism.