Craig, P. L.,
Building social capital with interprofessional student teams in rural settings: A service-learning model.
Australian Journal of Rural Health, Early View (Online First).
Objective: To describe outcomes of a model of service learning in interprofessional learning (IPL) aimed at developing a sustainable model of training that also contributed to service strengthening.
Design: A total of 57 semi-structured interviews with key informants and document review exploring the impacts of interprofessional student teams engaged in locally relevant IPL activities.
Setting: Six rural towns in South East New South Wales.
Participants: Local facilitators, staff of local health and other services, health professionals who supervised the 89 students in 37 IPL teams, and academic and administrative staff.
Main outcome measures: Perceived benefits as a consequence of interprofessional, service-learning interventions in these rural towns.
Results: Reported outcomes included increased local awareness of a particular issue addressed by the team; improved communication between different health professions; continued use of the team's product or a changed procedure in response to the teams' work; and evidence of improved use of a particular local health service.
Conclusions: Given the limited workforce available in rural areas to supervise clinical IPL placements, a service-learning IPL model that aims to build social capital may be a useful educational model.
evaluation, interprofessional learning, service learning, social capital