Projects

Interprofessional Health Professions Collaboration to Enhance Women’s Health in the Health Professions Curricula

Project Overview

The purpose of this contract was to review the progress made in follow up to recommendations provided in prior discipline-specific reports developed for the Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Office of Women’s Health (OWH). This study reviewed the progress that had been made in the integration of women’s health content in respective curricula and identified strategies for interprofessional education.

These prior discipline-specific reports were developed between 1996 and 2005. During this time, OWH collaborated with several U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Agencies and Offices, as well as with professional associations, to examine the incorporation of women’s health issues into various health care training programs and make recommendations to improve the integration of women’s health into health professions curricula. The disciplines included in these efforts were medicine, baccalaureate nursing, pharmacy, dentistry, and public health. Each of these fields interact with women in different ways; in each field, practitioners who are familiar with the ways that sex and gender affect health, illness, and interventions will be better able to provide quality care.

For this study, Insight examined the recommendations contained in the individual reports to 1) identify similar priorities that remain relevant and timely as means to integrate women’s health-related issues into curricula; 2) identify ways to promote interprofessional collaboration for future activities; and 3) review new models of health service delivery across health professions training. Insight also conducted interviews with project directors from the various professions to gain additional perspective on changes in the curricula related to women’s health over time.

For this project, Insight convened 3 meetings with a Technical Expert Panel comprised of representatives of the pharmacy, medicine, baccalaureate nursing, dental, and public health schools, and of representatives of additional key health professions and associations who may have been involved in the previous studies. These meetings provided an opportunity for critical interprofessional discussions on progress to date and future areas of focus and collaboration.

Core Activities

Literature Reviews and Environmental Scans; Data Collection; Qualitative Research; Stakeholder Engagement and Coordination of Advisory Committees and Technical Expert Panels; Report Development and Presentation

Products

The final report is entitled “Women’s Health Curricula: Final Report on Recommendations for Interprofessional Collaboration Across the Health Professions” (September 2012) and is available at http://www.hrsa.gov/about/organization/bureaus/owh/report111413.pdf.