Taking the long view: exploring the development of interprofessional education

Fook, Jan, d'Avray, Lynda, Norrie, Caroline, Psoinos, Maria, Lamb, Bryony and Ross, Fiona (2013) Taking the long view: exploring the development of interprofessional education. Journal of Interprofessional Care, 27(4), pp. 286-291. ISSN (print) 1356-1820


Interprofessional education (IPE) in health and social care has been well documented regarding student outcomes. Less has been written from the perspective of those who actually developed IPE. This study explores IPE within the context of a university partnership working with service providers in Southwest London (UK). We focused on the experiences and perspectives of 19 key players who were interviewed about the inception, implementation and development of IPE over 15 years. Our aim was to understand their views of IPE and its evolution over time. Interviewees provided different understandings of IPE, as well as contrasting views regarding its purpose and optimum delivery. Problems such as lack of central planning and the logistics of implementation were also discussed. Paradoxically, however, the participants highlighted positive outcomes and conveyed optimistic messages for the future. Despite various challenges and setbacks, a strong belief in the importance of IPE and a commitment to carrying it through were strong motivators contributing to finding solutions, as were building trust and positive relationships across professional and disciplinary boundaries.

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