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Australian Journal of Clinical Education

Abstract

This paper reports quantitative and descriptive qualitative findings from a mixed-methods study exploring and evaluating the outcomes and experiences of clients, staff and students piloting an integrated interprofessional programme for community members with type II diabetes. The one-day per week, eight-week programme included interprofessional appointments, group education sessions and case conferences led by students from exercise and nutrition, health promotion, nursing, occupational therapy, oral health, physiotherapy, podiatry and counselling psychology. Participants shared their experiences in individual interviews or focus groups. Client outcomes were evaluated using basic clinical indicators and the Canadian Occupational Performance Measure (COPM) that assesses client goal satisfaction and performance. While only small expected changes to clinical indicators were noted, there were moderate increases in mean COPM scores for performance and satisfaction. Descriptive qualitative analysis identified enjoyment from working as a team, better client outcomes and new knowledge or learning as the most frequent experiences. Findings suggested increased self-management empowerment for clients and their support people, while students and staff experienced both learning from, appreciating and educating each other about their own and others’ roles, and better collaboration. The success of the pilot programme has led to its continuation; however, timing and resourcing challenges noted by participants could threaten sustainability and accommodation of more clients and students.

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