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Project Report

The BRIDGE Community Consultation Project: building rural interprofessional discussions and group experiences

Submitted: 2 December 2010
Revised: 12 May 2011
Published: 28 July 2011

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Author(s) : Drolet J, Christianson T, Clark N.

Tracy ChristiansonNatalie Clark

Citation: Drolet J, Christianson T, Clark N.  The BRIDGE Community Consultation Project: building rural interprofessional discussions and group experiences. Rural and Remote Health (Internet) 2011; 11: 1676. Available: (Accessed 24 October 2017)


Introduction:  Interprofessional (IP) community-oriented health education is an important strategy for achieving high quality health care. The purpose of this project was to develop collaborative partnerships between rural communities and Thompson Rivers University, Canada, to identify the needs and priorities for building capacity for IP placements in two rural communities in the Interior of BC.
Methods:  The project developed and implemented a Community-Based Participatory Action Research (CBPAR) workshop for rural health practitioners to strengthen collaborative partnerships. Focused group discussions were used to explore the needs and priorities for inter-professional placements, and to better understand the nature of IP practice in each community. Documentation and relevant academic literature was reviewed on IP practice and education, rural practice, and field education.
Results:  The project identified the needs, priorities and challenges for IP placements, and successfully developed collaborative partnerships between rural communities and the university. Discussions revealed that allied health professionals were interested in facilitating IP placements but cited the lack of financial resources, accommodation in rural communities, and financial incentives for student transportation as concerns. The project revealed that rural health practitioners view IP placements as an avenue to address their recruitment and retention challenges.
Conclusion: Coordination of potential IP education opportunities proved to be more difficult than anticipated. Time was a factor, coordination of student timetables in social work, nursing and human service was challenging, and there was a lack of support and commitment from decision-makers and stakeholders at all levels.

Key words: Canada, community health services, interprofessional education, practicums, rural health.

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