Circles of care: A novel tool for interprofessional health education

By | 6th December 2011

Very interesting early online article, written by: Sarit Khimdas, Akshay Shetty, Chandheeb Rajakumar, Colin Meyer-Macaulay, Cal Shapiro, Rachit Sheshgiri and Neeraj Patel

(University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada).

The health care landscape has seen a dramatic change over the last 15 years, with an emphasis on an inter- professional model of health care delivery in a patient-centered context (Thistlethwaite, Moran, & World Health Organization Study Group on Interprofessional Education and Collaborative Practice, 2010). Today’s health professionals are dealing with an increasing number of older and chronically ill patients that has forced us to reevaluate how we deliver care. The interplay between biopsychosocial aspects of chronic health illnesses has led to a more collaborative working relationship between different allied health care professionals, resulting in better patient care.

It has been shown, however, that on entering higher education, students become professionally socialized, poss- ibly creating cognitive and social boundaries between professions that hinder sharing of knowledge (Jacobsen, Fink, Marcussen, Larsen, & Hansen, 2009). Therefore, it is all the more important that the role of interprofessional education takes on an active role within health education curriculum.
Interprofessional education on clinical training wards with exposure to trainees from other health care fields improved awareness of each others disciplinary roles, increased knowledge base of their own roles and fostered greater cooperation between groups, while creating positive attitudes toward other professions (Wijma, 1999). Our group has sought to present an alternative to interprofessional training sessions. Working with the Inter Professional Health Education and Research Department at the University of Western Ontario, we developed an interactive learning board game meant to be played by professionals and students from different allied health care fields in sessions ranging from 1 to 2 hours, titled Circles of Care.

For more information, please read: The Journal of Interprofessional Care, Early Online, December 6, 2011.