Interprofessional education in allied health: A systematic review

Olson, Rebecca E. and Bialocerkowski, Andrea (2014) Interprofessional education in allied health: A systematic review. Medical Education, 48 3: 236-246. doi:10.1111/medu.12290

Author Olson, Rebecca E.
Bialocerkowski, Andrea
Title Interprofessional education in allied health: A systematic review
Journal name Medical Education   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0308-0110
Publication date 2014-03
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/medu.12290
Volume 48
Issue 3
Start page 236
End page 246
Total pages 11
Place of publication Chichester, West Sussex, United Kingdom
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Collection year 2015
Language eng
Formatted abstract
During the past decade, several studies have systematically reviewed interprofessional education (IPE), but few have inclusively reviewed this literature. None has focused primarily on IPE in allied health, despite differences in recruitment and socialisation across the health professions. This systematic review seeks to uncover the best approach to pre-licensure, university-based allied health IPE to determine which aspects require modification in which contexts to provide optimal learning experiences.

A systematic search of 10 databases was conducted for articles published in English, between January 1998 and January 2013. Studies were included if they used quantitative or qualitative methodologies to report on the outcomes associated with IPE in allied health. Two independent reviewers identified studies that met the inclusion criteria, critically appraised the included studies and extracted data relating to the effectiveness of IPE in allied health. Data were synthesised narratively to address the study aims.

Large gaps – relating to methods, theory and context – remain within this body of literature. Studies measured students' attitudes and understanding of other health professional roles, teamwork and knowledge in response to IPE interventions using patient scenarios, lectures and small-group work. Differences in power and curriculum placement were described as factors affecting IPE effectiveness.

Evaluation remains the primary aim within this literature. Few studies use theory, take an inductive approach to understanding the processes behind IPE or include detailed participant descriptions. Therefore, we suggest that IPE research is currently caught in an epistemological struggle, between assumptions underpinning biomedical and health science research, and those underpinning education studies. As part of a systems approach to understanding interprofessional socialisation, we call for researchers to take a realistic approach to evaluation that is inclusive of, and responsive to, contextual factors to explore how IPE leads to improved long-term outcomes in differing circumstances.
Keyword Interprofessional education (IPE)
Allied health
Systematic review
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Social Science Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 21 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 29 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Tue, 21 Jul 2015, 22:29:00 EST by Rebecca Olson on behalf of School of Social Science