Preparing Students for Interprofessional Collaboration: A Grounded Theory Study

Friday, 28 July 2017: 1:50 PM

Monica Bianchi, PhD, EMBA, MSc
Annamaria Bagnasco, PhD, MSN
Giuseppe Aleo, PhD
Loredana Sasso, MSc
Department of Health Sciences (DISSAL),, University of Genoa, Genoa, Italy

Purpose:  Explore and understand the process of preparation to the IPC put in place by clinical tutors and students, of the various professions involved in experiences of IPE, in order to encourage the recruitment of the professional role and to become a member of a team.

Methods:  To answer to the question "What processes are used by students and clinical mentors to develop interprofessional collaboration?" it has been used a constructivist grounded theory approach.. This approach has enabled the researcher to enter into the research setting, to observe it from the inside, to collect the data that were analyzed to define a theoretical explaination of the process studied.

In a university of applied sciences and arts of outhern Switzerland, ten students of the bachelors in nursing, physiotherapy, occupational therapy and the clinical tutors who followed them in the last stage of the bachelor course (sixth semester) were involved in the study. In the participants' selection, we have respected the criteria of theoretical sampling. This, in proceeding, allowed us to develop and confirm the characteristics of the emerging categories. The data collection process took place in a first step through semi- structered interviews with participants and university documentation consultation; in the second phase through focused interviews, participant observations and consultation of documentation produced by the participants. The total number of interviews, initially estimated in a total of 21, was 17 in the first phase and 6 in the second (total 23); the two additional interviews have been inserted in order to reach the theoretical saturation.The participating observations conducted were 3 for a total of 13 hours. The analysis was conducted through a coding process: initial, focused and theoretical (Charmaz 2014). Data were analyzed and coded using constant comparative analysis and the sofware Nvivo 10 In the initial coding 35 nodes were derived; During focused analysis they were groupped in 15 categories and 55 sub-categories; in the theoretical analysis they were defined 8 categories.

Results: A substantive theory "Practicing contextual models of interprofessional care" was generated. It explains how the whole process is played, the interaction between tutor and student and how they proceed together to the creation of models of interprofessional care, linked to the context in which they find themselves in, and to patients / families who are part of it. These models of care will be applied at the end of the whole process by the new professional (who was a student at the beginning of the path). The theory has been described as a journey: to think of this process as a journey and as students and tutor as companions of this trip helps to understand the intensity of relationships, communication and exchanges that the two travellers live through and build together. The relationship between student and tutor is the innovative aspect of this theory. This relationship, which develops between student and tutor and that consolidates and transforms, is structured differently from dyad to dyad but has constant support through the different types of communication (verbal and nonverbal) and through different modes of structuring (individualized) is the core around which it develops and is expressed throughout the process.

 Conclusion:  This theory allows us to understand the complex process engaged by students and tutors in order to build the student's professional identity and to prepare him for the collaboration with other professionals. The fundamental concepts that derived concern: the way in which the professional identity is built and the role of the student in the team, the relationship that, throughout the process, develops and consolidates between student and tutor, the relationship with patients and families as well as with other professionals; all concepts that are integrated for building models of interprofessional care in that specific context.