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  • Author: Michael Ewers x
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Abstract

Background

As the scientific discourse about interprofessional learning, teaching, and practice has been gaining momentum in recent years, German-speaking countries still have a considerable amount of catching up to do compared with other countries. The discourse about stereotypes and their effects may serve as an example in this respect.

Objective

We set out to establish which theoretical and methodological approaches have been used in research on stereotypes endorsed by health professions students and which empirical findings are currently available on the effects of such stereotypes on interprofessional learning, teaching and practice. The main goal was to summarize the current research, to point out research desiderata and identify starting points for further research about this topic.

Methods

A broad narrative review of English and German literature was performed. Results were prepared, reflected and descriptive and analytical summarized.

Results

International research on stereotypes of health professions students in the interprofessional discourse is characterized by social-psychological theoretical and quantitative-empirical methodological approaches. Heterogeneous study designs limit the comparability and generalizability of current study findings. Answers to questions of whether and how stereotypes can be influenced through interprofessional learning, teaching, and practice were inconsistent in the literature.

Conclusion

Research findings on stereotypes endorsed by health professions students provided interesting theoretical and empirical perspectives for the debate surrounding interprofessional learning, teaching, and practice. These perspectives should be used to guide and stimulate further research on this topic in German-speaking countries.

Abstract

Background

The number of patients depending on long-term invasive mechanical ventilation (IMV) has been increasing for several years. Anecdotal reports indicate heterogeneous health structures, opaque patient pathways, nontransparent and sometimes questionable practices in individual areas of care, inadequate quality standards and control mechanisms in Germany. However, there is hardly any empirical data on this topic.

Aim

To report findings from a qualitative study conducted as part of a complex research project to assess the appropriateness of care provided to IMV patients in Germany.

Methods

Thirteen semi-structured expert interviews were conducted with 22 health professionals providing care for IMV patients. The data analysis was conducted with MAXQDA according to the framework by Meuser and Nagel.

Results

Interviewees emphasized similar healthcare deficits. They considered health providers to be nontransparent and influenced by secondary interests. Quality of care is reported to be jeopardized by shortage of trained staff. Warranty of self-determination and participatory decision-making is not a matter of fact. Clarifying issues of sustaining life, quality of life and shaping the end of life is often ignored. The professionals are familiar with the patient pathways, allocation processes and responsibilities described in existing guidelines, but criticize the fact that they are not sufficiently binding. Accordingly, patient pathways are frequently individual results of experience-based, informal networking, and often left to chance.

Conclusions

The results point to a considerable need for action to reach an appropriate, integrated, patient-centered level of care for long-term IMV patients and ensure its quality.