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Abstract

Purpose: An evaluation of a large scale implementation of a peer group model of professional supervision was conducted to inform service planning and guide policy and practice. A descriptive overview of the findings is presented. Method: Allied health staff trained in peer group supervision were surveyed about their experience of the model, its challenges and benefits. Interviews were also conducted with senior managers. Results: Analysis of 248 responses indicated that 72% of trained staff had participated in peer group supervision, and that these peer groups had continued for an average of 17.2 months. The majority of groups adhered to the guidelines presented at training, and found the model easy to implement and adaptable to a range of professions, settings and needs. Reported benefits included skill development as well as increased support and confidence. Improved relationships and team culture were also described. Management support and attendance at training were considered important to successful implementation. Conclusions: The evaluation demonstrated that a model of peer group supervision can be successfully implemented with a diverse and geographically dispersed allied health workforce. This model allowed professional supervision needs to be met in a group setting without the requirement for an expert supervisor. A number of benefits for individual clinicians and their teams were identified, and the need for further evaluation, in the context of widespread health reform is noted.

Author Bio(s)

Susan Pager BAppSc (Speech & Hearing Science), MPH is a Senior Project Officer, Metro South Health, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

Pim Kuipers BA(Hons), MA, PhD is Associate Professor, Menzies Health Institute Queensland, Griffith University and Centre for Functioning & Health Research, Metro South Health Queensland, Australia.

Karen E Bell B PHTY, MAPA is a senior physiotherapist in Darling Downs Hospital and Health Service, Queensland, Australia.

Fiona Hall DPsych, BPscy(Hons), Grad Dip Clin Hyp works with the Allied Health Professions Office of Queensland, Health Service and Clinical Excellence Division, Queensland, Australia.

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to gratefully acknowledge the support of Aly McNicoll from the New Zealand Coaching and Mentoring Centre for assistance with the training and implementation of the peer group supervision model, the Cunningham Centre for access to data and the allied health staff in Queensland who participated in this study.

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