An interprofessional health assessment program in rural amateur sport
Grace, S & Coutts, R 2017, 'An interprofessional health assessment program in rural amateur sport', Journal of Interprofessional Care, vol. 31, no. 1, pp. 115-117.
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Effective interprofessional learning (IPL) in multisectoral collaborations such as those linking health services within communities can provide an authentic experience for students and also appears to be the most effective way to achieve health changes in targeted population groups. The aim of this study was to facilitate the IPL of students at a rural university in a multisectoral health assessment programme and to promote health in players of rural amateur sport. Two rural rugby league teams took part in three pre-season health assessments conducted by general medical practitioners, practice nurses, and nursing, osteopathy, and exercise science students. The Readiness for Interprofessional Learning Scale questionnaire and a series of focus groups were used to evaluate participants' experiences of the programme. Results indicated that students saw the benefits for patients and 93% valued the opportunity to improve interprofessional communication, problem-solving and team skills. Some students felt they needed to learn more about their own professional role before learning about others, and instances of stereotyping were identified. The programme also enabled early detection of potential health risks and referral for medical care, management of musculoskeletal conditions, and health promotion. These health assessments would be readily transferred to other multisectoral sporting settings.