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The introduction of an interprofessional education module: students' perceptions

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Aim: The purpose of this study was to examine health science students' perceptions of an interprofessional education (IPE) module delivered by means of problem-based learning (PBL).

Methods: Ninety-two students from four health science disciplines (medicine, physiotherapy, nursing and diagnostic imaging) elected to participate in this IPE PBL module. An evaluation was undertaken using a questionnaire with quantitative and qualitative components completed at the end of the module. Students were asked to evaluate aspects of the module relating to learning objectives, intellectual stimulation, resources, library information skills, work load and overall satisfaction. Open-ended questions asked students to comment on the best aspects of the module and areas for improvement. Quantitative data were analysed using SPSS version 18 and qualitative data using framework analysis methodology.

Results: Of the 92 students that participated in the module, 70 (78%) completed the questionnaire. Over 70% (n = 49) of students positively endorsed the module in terms of the statements posed. Overall satisfaction with the module was high, with 63 (91%) students reporting that they agreed or strongly agreed that they were satisfied with the module. Analysis of qualitative data revealed the following emerging themes in relation to the module: (1) collaboration (learning together with others from different professions); (2) structure (small group work, discussion, teamwork assessment procedures); and (3) content (problem diversity).

Conclusions: The introduction of this IPE module for health science students was well received. Students valued the opportunity to work in small groups with individuals from other health science disciplines. Students highlighted module structure and content as being important elements for consideration when developing IPE. Further research is required in order to define whether improving communication and collaboration skills will ultimately lead to improved quality in patient care.


Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Lecturer in Physiotherapy, UCD School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Population Science, Health Sciences Centre, Dublin, Ireland 2: Research Associate, UCD School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Population Science, Health Sciences Centre, Dublin, Ireland

Publication date: July 1, 2012

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