Led by Monash University, the project also includes   collaboration with Deakin University, University of South Australia, and   Edith Cowan University involving students from 11 health care   professions.

Project aims and outcomes

Empathy is a vital characteristic for all health   professionals. However, it is also a difficult behavioural trait and   professional skill set to teach and assess; as a result it is often a   neglected component of health science curriculum.

The project has two aims:

  • to develop a toolkit that includes a range of interprofessional empathy DVD simulations and workshop resources, and
  • to evaluate the toolkit through exploring empathic   behaviours and interprofessional levels pre- and post-involvement in a   DVD simulation workshop.

The nature of the project will also allow for comparisons and   differences between the health science disciplines and institutions.   The findings will inform curriculum development in each of the   disciplines, as well as facilitate the development of empathic   behaviours and interprofessional collaboration in the health sciences   students involved. In addition the toolkit will be available to other   universities to embed in their curriculum.

Project aims and outcomes

The interprofessional empathic behaviour education toolkit   will be developed to run a number of workshops for undergraduate   healthcare students. The toolkit will include workshop aims and   objectives based on the interprofessional empathy DVD simulations, and a   range of group activities. A mixed methodological approach will be used   to evaluate the project. Participants from 11 health professions will   be recruited via convenience sampling from the health science education   programs at Monash University, Deakin University, University of South   Australia, and Edith Cowan University. Students will complete the   workshop activities and watch the DVD scenarios. Empathic behaviour and   interprofessional levels will be measured pre, post and follow-up using   two standardised instruments: Jefferson Scale of Empathy - Health   Profession - Student version (JSE-HP-S), and the Readiness for   Interprofessional Learning Scale (RIPLS). A subgroup of randomly   selected students from each of the 11 health professions represented   will be asked to take part in a series of focus groups.