Recommendations for the design of interprofessional education: Findings from a narrative scoping review


  • Rebekah Shakhovskoy Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service
  • Natalie Dodd Griffith University, University of the Sunshine Coast
  • Nicole Masters University of the Sunshine Coast
  • Karen New University of the Sunshine Coast
  • Anita Hamilton University of the Sunshine Coast
  • Gregory Nash University of the Sunshine Coast
  • Nigel Barr University of the Sunshine Coast
  • Kendall George University of the Sunshine Coast
  • Fiona Pelly University of the Sunshine Coast
  • Carol Reid University of the Sunshine Coast
  • Jane Taylor University of the Sunshine Coast
  • Fiona Bogossian University of the Sunshine Coast



interprofessional, interprofessional education, interprofessional collaboration, education design, health professions


Introduction: Evidence-based teaching and learning strategies should underpin any educational activity. This is particularly important for interprofessional education (IPE) activities, where there is an expectation that healthcare professions are taught using best available evidence. There is a research–practice gap that this review aims to address by using the current evidence to develop recommendations regarding optimal design components to better inform faculty who design IPE.

Methods: A five-stage scoping review was conducted. Methodological characteristics and IPE design components of primary and review studies were extracted. Three important components of design—participants (level and stage of progression, discipline type and number, group size and ratios), learning constructs (theories, frameworks, learning objectives) and learning approaches (exchange, observation, action, simulation and practice)—were reviewed to develop recommendations regarding effective design.

Results: A total of 41 papers were eligible for inclusion, 24 primary and 17 review studies. The primary studies were predominantly descriptive case studies with 31 disciplines involved in IPE activities across the studies. There was inconsistent reporting of learning constructs utilised in design, and the most reported learning approach was exchange. There was significant variability in the aims and design of the 17 review studies, ranging from systematic reviews to realist reviews, with the number of included studies ranging from six to 104.

Conclusions: There was a lack of detailed reporting regarding design components, which limits the evidence base to inform IPE design. Reported components from the primary studies were augmented by findings from the review studies and the wider literature, which enabled the development of recommendations to assist faculty in the design of IPE programs and activities.


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How to Cite

Shakhovskoy, R., Dodd, N., Masters, N., New, K., Hamilton, A., Nash, G., Barr, N., George, K., Pelly, F., Reid, C., Taylor, J., & Bogossian, F. (2022). Recommendations for the design of interprofessional education: Findings from a narrative scoping review. Focus on Health Professional Education: A Multi-Professional Journal, 23(4), 82–117.



Interprofessional Education