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Exposing an interprofessional class of first years to an underserved community contributed to students' contextualisation of the determinants of health.

J Interprof Care; : 1-11, 2019 Jan 21.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30664385
Students often find the primarily theoretical, classroom-based teaching of Public Health early on in undergraduate health professions curricula boring, failing to see its relevance for their future careers. An innovative approach to this challenge, based on social constructivist theory, was introduced at a South African university. First-year students were divided into interprofessional groups to visit an underserved community. In preparation for this experience, groups gathered information on "their" community after attending lectures/workshops. The objective of this study was to determine how exposing an interprofessional class of first years to an underserved community, contributed to students' contextualisation of the determinants of health. A mixed method methodology was used. Data were generated by analysing 40 randomly selected reflective reports and an online questionnaire (completed by 85% of the class) following the community visit. Data showed that it is after this first-hand exposure that students had a deeper affective-cognitive realisation of health inequity and was able to better contextualise the impact of determinants of health on individuals and communities. This community visit gave students a better grasp of what is needed to collaborate interprofessionally in addressing health inequity and served as intrinsic motivation to develop as change agents.