Wood, Barbara (2001) Multi-disciplinary education within the health care professions. Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield.
Abstract

The aim of this study was to investigate the perceptions held by health care
professionals, of multi -disciplinary education. In addition, possible areas for the
development of a multi-disciplinary approach were identified. The research focused
on the views of nurses, physiotherapists, radiographers, speech therapists and
occupational therapists.

The study adopted a case study methodology, incorporating a mixed-method
approach in terms of data collection. A questionnaire was used to review the
perceptions of multi-disciplinary education amongst health care professionals, and
interviews were then conducted with a sample of the respondents to explore their
views further.

From the outset, the research process assumed a multi-disciplinary
perspective. During the study it became clear that organisational and professional
factors were important influences on how health care professionals perceived multidisciplinary
education. The research appeared to indicate that the idea of "multidisciplinary
education" is a problematic concept and that multi-disciplinary education
is acceptable, where it is appropriate. Most of the professions involved recognised the
benefits of the process, but were anxious to protect the integrity of each individual
profession, in the long term. Moreover, they maintained that the medical profession
needs to be included in the process. The organisational findings were, primarily, that
multi-disciplinary education might benefit from a cross-agency approach.

Perhaps significantly, it was suggested that multi-disciplinary education
should be introduced at the pre-registration stage. It was apparent that teamwork does
not always occur in practice and that this was an area that could be a focus for multidisciplinary
education. The research concluded that there should be joint ownership of
any multi-disciplinary education programme across professions and organisations.

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