Health professional student attitudes towards teamwork, roles and values in interprofessional practice: The influence of an interprofessional activity

Joanne Connaughton, Susan Edgar, Heidi Waldron, Chris Adams, Jane Courtney, Michelle Katavatis, Angela Alessandri


Introduction: Logistical difficulties associated with timetabling interprofessional education (IPE) in multiple entry-level health professional programs requires adopting new and innovative models. This study evaluated whether a 2-hour IPE workshop can impact students’ perceptions of teamwork, professional roles, values and communication.

Method: Medical, physiotherapy and nursing students (n = 430) reviewed a case study and discussed roles, responsibilities and communication between healthcare professionals. Students were invited to participate in research by completing pre and post surveys comprising 12 statements based on the teamwork, roles and responsibilities and interprofessional biases questions from the Interprofessional Attitude’s Scale (IPAS). Data from IPAS were entered into SPSS and analysed using descriptive statistics.

Results: All student groups demonstrated a positive attitude pre activity with an overall statistically significant improvement in pre- and post-activity scores (z = -8.568, p < 0.001, medium to large effect size (r = 0.47), pre workshop Md = 45 to post workshop Md = 46.5). Students identified the activity as relevant to them for learning more about their professional roles, communication, values and teamwork.

Conclusions: A 2-hour workshop can be effective in influencing students’ attitudes towards IPE. Inclusion of a team activity promotes discussion on cooperation, coordination and accountability. Using a case study of a patient whose condition deteriorates as a result of poor communication enables students to explore the value of thier own and other professions roles and responsibilities as well as interprofessional communication.

A case-study-based IPE activity is effective in influencing students' attitudes towards interprofessional communication and teamwork and developing a better understanding of their own and one another's roles in patient care.



interprofessional education, interdisciplinary communication, educational model

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