Diagnostic radiography students’ perceptions of interprofessional collaboration

Spencer, Sherril (2022) Diagnostic radiography students’ perceptions of interprofessional collaboration. (PhD thesis), Kingston University, .


Interprofessional collaboration (IPC) is believed to be a key ingredient in delivering high quality patient care and addressing failings within the NHS. The means to improving interprofessional collaboration within healthcare teams is unquestionably through interprofessional education (IPE). This is a global concern, and as such it is important to drive the agenda forward within my own profession of diagnostic radiography. Consequently, the aim of this research study is to explore diagnostic radiography students' perception of interprofessional collaboration and the factors that influence it. The ultimate purpose being to utilise the findings of this study to better prepare diagnostic radiography students for collaboration through improvements in the interprofessional education curriculum. A phenomenological approach was used, and semi-structured interviews were carried out using carefully constructed vignettes as prompts. The vignettes reflected interprofessional collaborative teamwork and included ineffective collaboration to allow for comment on the factors perceived to influence it. A sample of twelve third year diagnostic radiography students from a London University participated in the study. The data was analysed using thematic analysis as specified by Colaizzi (1978). The overarching themes that emerged were: ❖ Personal capabilities ❖ Skills Mix ❖ Interpersonal relationships ❖ Radiography culture ❖ Organisation/environment With a central theme of role-taking The study concluded that diagnostic radiography students appear ill-equipped for interprofessional collaborative teamwork. The analysis shows that the students are 6 lacking in leadership capabilities needed to navigate the persuasive hidden curriculum and resist normalisation into the culture of compliance of the team or organisation. Furthermore, the results oppose findings on professional identity, which is considered to cause turf protectionism and tribalism hindering collaboration. Instead this study proposes that a strong professional identity breeds confidence and resilience aiding collaboration. It is not just IPE that influences collaboration however. Organisational pressures such as funding, time frames and workload appear complicit in fuelling a culture of compliance. A representation of a model of profession social closure is presented, demonstrating similarities and differences from Witz’s (1992) model, based on the perceptions of a small group of diagnostic radiography students. This small-scale study rejects the suggestion that professions work as a single entity to demarcate with domination and subordination. There were no perceived exclusion strategies between the subordinate professions. Instead, it suggests that exclusion occurs between in and out groups with normalisation to the group. Inclusionary strategies through advanced expert knowledge appears to be successful with improved collaboration between dominant and subordinate professions. Enhancing interprofessional collaboration is recommended through application of the three successive levels of transformative learning within the diagnostic radiography curriculum. This should include strengthening professional identity, continued interprofessional socialisation and the introduction of leadership skills alongside reflective practice, to enable students to negotiate the hidden curriculum.

Actions (Repository Editors)

Item Control Page Item Control Page