Caroline Gillian Chitsulo 1, Ellen Mbweza Chirwa 1, Lynda Wilson 2
- Kamuzu College of Nursing, Lilongwe, Malawi and The Kamuzu University of Health Sciences
- The University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Nursing, Birmingham US
* Correspondence to: Caroline Gillian Chitsulo (firstname.lastname@example.org
Key words: Interprofessional education, faculty perceptions, IPE skills, qualitative research.
Undergraduate health professionals’ education in Malawi is mostly provided through a uniprofessional approach, even though the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends interprofessional education (IPE) in order to prepare health workers for collaborative practice. Because IPE is not widely practiced in Malawi, faculty may not have the knowledge and skills required for successful IPE implementation.
To explore perceived needs for knowledge and skills related to IPE among faculty in undergraduate health professional programs at the University of Malawi – Kamuzu College of Nursing (KCN) and College of Medicine (COM).
A qualitative exploratory descriptive study capturing the perspectives of purposively selected participants was conducted at the University of Malawi KCN and COM. Data were collected through in-depth interviews (n = 16) and focus group interviews (n=20). Data analysis was done using qualitative content analysis.
Faculty perceived the need for being knowledgeable in IPE and understanding its benefits. The need for training in IPE was perceived as key to increasing faculty members’ confidence for IPE. Faculty also perceived the need for enhanced skills in interpersonal relationships, communication, and facilitation of learning, conflict resolution, and clinical teaching in order to successfully implement IPE.
Faculty perceived the need to be knowledgeable about IPE, its benefits and the need for enhanced skills related to IPE. The need fornformal training in IPE was perceived key for successful implementation of IPE. These findings provide information which can help to identify faculty training needs for IPE and to design faculty training activities.