Interprofessional global health competencies of South Korean health professional students: Educational needs and strategies

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Background: There is growing recognition of the importance of educating health professional students to enhance their competence in collaborating with individuals from other health professions in the area of global health. This study aimed to identify the performance levels in interprofessional global health competencies (IGHC) of health professional students, their educational needs, and the strategies for successfully developing IGHC. Methods: This study used a mixed methods design involving an online survey followed by focus group interviews. A sample of 325 fourth-year undergraduate students from 14 health-related majors completed a self-report online survey (38.8% response rate). The performance of IGHC was measured on a five-point Likert scale using the IGHC items developed by the Consortium of Universities for Global Health. Additionally, 12 senior students and five professors in global health-related majors participated in focus group interviews. The students' educational needs and priorities were analysed using the Borich needs assessment and the Locus for Focus model. Results: The participants' IGHC mean score was 3.11 (SD = 0.55) and differed by previous global health activity experiences (t = - 2.10, p =.037). Nine competencies in six domains using the Locus for Focus model were identified as a priority for global health education. Suggested strategies to enhance IGHC included establishing IGHC education in formal curricula, developing value-based content and outcomes, and engaging students in learning activities. Conclusions: It is necessary to design an interprofessional pre-departure course to achieve the priority IGHC and to organise learning activities where there is cooperation in problem solving while applying the expertise of each major within resource-limited settings. This study supports future health professional education that should foster enhanced roles and scopes of practice as changing agents to assure the achievement of sustainable development goals.

Original languageEnglish
Article number429
JournalBMC medical education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Nov 21

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© 2019 The Author(s).

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education


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