Healthy Is As Healthy Does. Examining Concepts of Personal Health and Practice to Inform Interprofessional Education at the Foundational, Tertiary Level
MetadataShow full metadata
The purpose of this research is to analyse the conceptions of health and healthy living practice held by students in their first year of tertiary health education. This study brings to light students’ currently held health conceptions and healthy living practices and discusses the findings in the context of informing relevant curriculum development within tertiary interprofessional health education. From a large (n=901) research cohort, a mixed methods approach involving an open and closed question survey and focus groups provided both quantitative and qualitative data. Analysis was provided through descriptive statistics, content analysis, and thematic analysis. The findings of this research indicate the complex methods used to define and shape how health is conceived. Corporeal underpinnings and healthism were identified as factors that contributed to one’s health definition and healthy living practice. These concepts are juxtaposed with psychosocial priorities of health maintenance and development. The findings also indicated that health professionals should share a common understanding of health. Additionally, the identification of personal values and reflective practice around personal health definitions are integral to the development of interprofessional health education students. Creating a strong first year curriculum to assist identification of personal health values and their possible difference from those of others is a useful first step toward creating progressive, collaborative, healthcare professionals. This study concludes with some implications for interprofessional educational practice being identified, limitations of the study, and some closing remarks around health being the foundational component of all interprofessional boundary crossing.