A systematic review of professional supervision experiences and effects for allied health practitioners working in non-metropolitan health care settings

Ducat, Wendy H. and Kumar, Saravana (2015) A systematic review of professional supervision experiences and effects for allied health practitioners working in non-metropolitan health care settings. Journal of Multidisciplinary Healthcare, 8 397-407. doi:10.2147/JMDH.S84557


Author Ducat, Wendy H.
Kumar, Saravana
Title A systematic review of professional supervision experiences and effects for allied health practitioners working in non-metropolitan health care settings
Journal name Journal of Multidisciplinary Healthcare   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1178-2390
Publication date 2015-08-26
Year available 2015
Sub-type Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
DOI 10.2147/JMDH.S84557
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 8
Start page 397
End page 407
Total pages 11
Place of publication Macclesfield, United Kingdom
Publisher Dove Medical Press
Collection year 2016
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Introduction: In regional, rural, and remote settings, allied health professional supervision is one organizational mechanism designed to support and retain the workforce, provide clinical governance, and enhance service delivery. A systematic approach to evaluating the evidence of the experience and effects of professional supervision for non-metropolitan allied health practitioners and their service delivery is needed.

Methods: Studies investigating the experience and effects of professional supervision across 17 allied health disciplines in non-metropolitan health services were systematically searched for using standardized keywords across seven databases. The initial search identified 1,574 references. Of these studies, five met inclusion criteria and were subject to full methodological appraisal by both reviewers. Two studies were primarily qualitative with three studies primarily quantitative in their approach. Studies were appraised using McMaster critical appraisal tools and data were extracted and synthesized.

Results: Studies reported the context specific benefits and challenges of supervision in non-metropolitan areas and the importance of supervision in enhancing satisfaction and support in these areas. Comparison of findings between metropolitan and non-metropolitan settings within one study suggested that allied health in non-metropolitan settings were more satisfied with supervision though less likely to access it and preferred supervision with other non-metropolitan practitioners over access to more experienced supervisors. One study in a regional health service identified the lack of an agreed upon definition and functions of supervision when supervisors from diverse allied health disciplines were surveyed. While methodologically weak, all studies reported positive perceptions of supervision across professionals, supervisors, and managers. This is in accordance with previous research in the wider supervision literature.

Discussion: Considering the large pool of studies retrieved for further investigation, few of these met inclusion criteria demonstrating the paucity of primary research in this area. Increased training, policies, and implementation frameworks to ensure the definition and functions of supervision are agreed upon across the allied health disciplines in non-metropolitan areas is needed. Furthermore, systematic evaluation of supervision implementation in non-metropolitan settings, investigation of the experience and effects of distance based supervision (versus face-to-face), and increased rigor in research studies investigating non-metropolitan allied health profession supervision is needed.
Keyword Clinical supervision
Allied health
Professional development
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
Collections: Official 2016 Collection
School of Medicine Publications
 
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