The impact of a training programme incorporating the conceptual framework of the International Classification of Functioning (ICF) on knowledge and attitudes regarding interprofessional practice in Rwandan health professionals: a cluster randomized control trial

Background The first step in improving interprofessional teamwork entails training health professionals (HP) to acknowledge the role and value the contribution of each member of the team. The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) has been developed by WHO to provide a common language to facilitate communication between HPs. Objective To determine whether ICF training programme would result in improved knowledge and attitudes regarding interprofessional practice within Rwandan district hospitals. Design, setting and participants A cluster randomised, single blinded, control trial design was used to select four district hospitals. Participants included physicians, social workers, physiotherapists, nutritionists, clinical psychologists/mental health nurses. Intervention Health professionals either received one day’s training in interprofessional practice (IPP) based on the ICF (experimental group) as a collaborative framework or a short talk on the topic (control group). Outcome measures Validated questionnaires were used to explore changes in knowledge and attitudes. Ethical approval was obtained from the relevant authorities. Results There were 103 participants in the experimental and 100 in the control group. There was no significant difference between Knowledge and Attitude scales at baseline. Post-intervention the experimental group (mean = 41.3, SD = 9.5) scored significantly higher on the knowledge scale than the control group (mean = 17.7, SD = 4.7 (t = 22.5; p < .001)). The median scores on the Attitude Scale improved in the Experimental group from 77.8 to 91.1%, whereas the median scores of the control remained approximately 80% (Adjusted Z = 10.72p < .001). Conclusion The ICF proved to be a useful framework for structuring the training of all HPs in IPP and the training resulted in a significant improvement in knowledge and attitudes regarding IPP. As suggested by the HPs, more training and refresher courses were needed for sustainability and the training should be extended to other hospitals in Rwanda. It is thus recommended that the framework can be used in interprofessional education and practice in Rwanda and possibly in other similar countries. Trial registration Name of the registry: Pan African Clinical Trial Registry. Trial registration number: PACTR201604001185358 . Date of registration: 22/04/2016. URL of trial registry record: