2 min

Better Understanding in the Health Professions

International Research Project for Improved Training and Patient Care

Better Understanding in the Health Professions

The international project INPRO with participation of the St. Pölten University of Applied Sciences was dedicated to a good mutual understanding between the different health and social professions. The objective is to achieve interdisciplinary training and practice in order to improve the treatment of patients. To this end, 750 students, 66 practitioners, and 54 teachers from four countries learnt with, from, and about patients in interprofessional teams.

Healthcare system under pressure

The European healthcare system is under increasing pressure: The population is ageing, and chronic diseases are on the rise, which means that there is more and more need for rehabilitation and nursing care. At the same time, though, there is a lack of skilled labour, and the healthcare costs continue to rise.

Various measures have been proposed in order to counter this development, such as shorter stays in hospitals or rehabilitation centres through an improvement of interprofessional and person-centred collaboration between members of the different health and social professions.

“To achieve this, we need a common understanding. Every discipline has its own technical terms, but we want experts of all disciplines involved to be able to exchange views and experiences. And of course, we want patients to contribute to an understanding of their concerns, so they should understand their diagnoses and what the professionals tell them”, says Anita Kidritsch, coordinator of the project at the St. Pölten UAS where she is a Senior Researcher at the Institute of Health Sciences.

Knowledge Transfer

The central topic of the project was the transfer of knowledge from higher education to practice by means of interprofessional (or interdisciplinary) training and collaborative, practical teamwork in rehabilitation. The result: modules and instruments for training and practice.

The project is part of a larger initiative and several projects at the St. Pölten UAS that are dedicated to interdisciplinary collaboration between the study programmes in Physiotherapy, Dietetics, Healthcare and NursingPLUS, and Social Work.

Europe-Wide Collaboration over Three Years

In order to support the transition from higher education to practice, rehabilitation centres and universities engaged in close collaboration over three years, both at the regional and the European level. Together, they created a series of modules from the basics to advanced competencies in interprofessional and person-centred teamwork.

A special focus was on the exchange of experiences between practitioners, managers, administrators, teachers, students, and clients. By way of regional projects in training and rehabilitation practice, INPRO tested approaches with a strong practical relevance concerning their effectiveness and Europe-wide applicability.

Freely Available Materials

The project consortium developed, on the one hand, a study programme concept and teaching materials that overlap with professional practice and, on the other hand, guidelines for the implementation and operation of a student-led  interprofessional learning station in a rehabilitation centre.

The materials are freely available online on the project website at https://www.inproproject.eu. Interested parties can apply them to their own work areas and regions.

International Project

Partners in the project were: Hanze University of Applied Sciences (NL, project lead), AP University of Applied Sciences (B), Jamk University of Applies Sciences (FIN), Gesundheits- und Rehabilitationszentrum Moorheilbad Harbach (A), Revalidatie Friesland (NL), and Coronaria Healthcare and Rehabilitation Services (FIN).

The project was co-financed through the European Union’s ERASMUS+ programme.

Project INPRO – ¡nterprofessionalism in action!

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FH-Prof. Kidritsch Anita, PT MSc

FH-Prof. Anita Kidritsch, PT MSc

Senior Researcher Institute of Health Sciences Department of Health Sciences
Mag. Hammer Mark

Mag. Mark Hammer

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