Lightning Talk

The Kawa (River) Model; a Novel Patient / Client - Centered Approach to Interprofessional Education and Care

Monday, August 22, 2022, 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm CDT

One of many challenges to developing collaborative interprofessional teams is the lack of a common language that diverse professional groups can effectively use to communicate. Care professionals also approach each patient/client case through the frameworks and specialized languages/narratives of their own disciplines, posing challenges to efficient and effective care. The Kawa (Japanese for River) Model was developed to mitigate problems and blind-spots that can occur when health professionals from diverse disciplines attempt to deliver best practice care in concert with their diverse care team members. The Kawa Model uses a metaphor of nature - a river, to depict the patient/client's experience of everyday life in the context of their life journey. By making the patient/client's narrative of their experiences of health and well-being, told in their own words, the central focus of concern, team members can connect/reconcile their insights and interventions to what matters most - the patient/client's real world of health and daily living realities. Concomitantly, team members can appreciate the roles that each professional on the team offers to the care of the the patient/client. The Lightning Talk will explain the main components of the Kawa Model and present a simple case demonstrating the model's application. The model's efficacy in interprofessional education and collaborative team care will be described. Evidence of the model's effectiveness in enhancing team collaboration and communication will be examined as well as the current challenges and limitations of the model and its applications.