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Clinical supervision frameworks for allied health professionals: a systematic and critical review
journal contributionposted on 06.08.2021, 06:12 by Marcus GardnerMarcus Gardner, Carol McKinstryCarol McKinstry, Byron PerrinByron Perrin
Purpose: Clinical supervision is an important element of professional support for allied health professionals and contributes to the provision of safe, high quality patient care and health professional wellbeing. Structured clinical supervision frameworks have been recommended to improve access and effectiveness of clinical supervision for allied health professionals by providing practical guidance and increased consistency. However, there is limited evidence relating to the availability and quality of clinical supervision frameworks for allied health. Method: A systematic and critical review was conducted to identify and appraise clinical supervision frameworks for allied health. Included were peer-reviewed studies and grey literature documents, available in full text and written in English. Six databases and government and professional association websites were searched. The AGREE Health Systems Guidance (AGREE-HS) tool was used to appraise framework quality. Three researchers independently reviewed the frameworks and reached consensus on scores through discussion. AGREE-HS scores were analysed descriptively. Results: Twenty-six frameworks were appraised by the AGREE-HS including 7 peer-reviewed studies and 19 grey literature documents. Over half of all frameworks were from Australia, and the profession/s that they related to were most commonly allied health, social work, or psychology. The combined mean of the AGREE-HS final items scores for all studies/documents was 14.5 (SD = 4.0) out of a possible score of 35. Frameworks published in peer-reviewed studies used more robust methods to inform their development than frameworks sourced from the grey literature. In contrast, grey literature frameworks were often more clearly outlined, succinct, practical, and flexible for stakeholders to implement. Conclusions: There are limited published frameworks available for allied health professionals, and the frameworks that do exist are generally of low quality. As a result, many existing frameworks may not provide the practical guidance required to improve clinical supervision practice and optimise the benefits of clinical supervision. It is recommended that future policy relating clinical supervision needs to focus on the development of common, evidence-based allied health clinical supervision frameworks. Future frameworks should be practically orientated and use robust methods and evaluation to inform their development and implementation.