Psychosocial interprofessional perinatal education: Design and evaluation of an interprofessional learning experience to improve students’ collaboration skills in perinatal mental health

Hazel Keedle, Virginia Stulz, Janet Conti, Rachel Bentley, Tanya Meade, Rosemary Qummouh, Phillipa Hay, Holly Kaye-Smith, Louise Everitt, Virginia Schmied

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Perinatal mental health disorders are one of the leading causes of maternal illness and suffering and care and services need to be well coordinated by an interprofessional team who are skilled in working collaboratively. Aim: The aim of this paper is to describe the design and evaluation of an innovative interprofessional education initiative to increase midwives and other health professional students’ knowledge and skills in caring collaboratively for women with psychosocial issues in the perinatal period, including women experiencing domestic and family violence. Methods: The Psychosocial Interprofessional Perinatal Education workshop was designed for midwifery, psychology, social work and medical students. It provided a simulated learning experience with case studies based on real life situations. Students undertook pre and post surveys to measure changes in students’ perceptions of interprofessional collaboration and their experiences of participating in the interprofessional simulation-based learning activity. Quantitative survey data were analysed using paired t-tests and a qualitative content analysis was undertaken on the open-ended questions in the survey. Findings: Comparison of pre and post surveys found students from all disciplines reported feeling more confident working interprofessionally following the workshop. The following categories were generated from analysis of the open ended survey data: Greater understanding of each others’ roles; Recognising benefits of interprofessional collaboration; Building on sense of professional identity; Respecting each other and creating a level playing field; and Filling a pedagogical gap. Conclusion: Through this innovative, simulated interprofessional education workshop students developed skills essential for future collaborative practice to support women and families experiencing psychosocial distress.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalWomen and Birth
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2023
Externally publishedYes

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