- Healthcare professionals are often ill-equipped to deal with the challenges inherent in working at the mental-physical interface—that is, where psychiatric and other healthcare professionals work together in clinical care.
- Overall, the pilot courses were positively received and appear to have achieved their desired learning objectives of improving interprofessional collaborative competencies, as well as provider confidence in the assessment and management of patients with co-morbid psychiatric and other medical illness.
- In undertaking this process, however, several issues were noted related to adapting the courses to the Canadian context which will require addressing for future iterations
In response to the need for practitioners to improve their skills in integrating mental and physical healthcare, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) (Canada) invited education specialists from Maudsley Simulation (UK) to pilot two of their existing interprofessional simulation courses on the mental-physical interface in Toronto. Participants’ experiences as well as the courses’ educational impact were evaluated.
Two 1-day courses were piloted. These had the aims of improving interprofessional collaborative competencies, as well as confidence in the assessment and management of patients with co-morbid psychiatric and other medical illness. One course focused on adult patients, while the other dealt with children and youth. Participants (n=23) completed pre-and post-course questionnaires, a 2-week follow-up questionnaire, and individual interviews 6 months after course completion.
Participants found the courses to be relevant and applicable to their practice. Over half of the participants interviewed (8/15) reported changing their practice as a result of the course. However, concerns regarding the sociological fidelity of these courses within the Canadian context were noted.
The findings support the transferability of interprofessional simulation courses developed in other countries. It is important, however, to contextualise course material to fit local healthcare systems and to ensure sociological fidelity where professional roles may vary.
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