"Group drum helps placement working": Unpacking the value of DRUMBEAT for interprofessional group learning during practice placement


  • Giti Haddadan The University of Sydney, Australia
  • Ann Marie Hannan The University of Sydney, Australia
  • Nicola Wright The University of Sydney, Australia
  • Emily Saurman The University of Sydney, Australia https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6273-4769




interprofessional learning, embodied pedagogy, groupwork, work integrated learning, fieldwork education


Introduction: Interprofessional education enables allied health students to learn with, from and about each other, equipping them with the skills, values and knowledge to work collaboratively in teams and with service users. DRUMBEAT, a groupwork program, was applied as a creative tool and implemented to empower learners with knowledge and skills not consistently addressed in traditional allied health education. This paper will explore the value of using DRUMBEAT during practice placement through gaining the perspectives of allied health students and the intentions, perceptions and experiences of allied health academic facilitators.

Methods: This multiple-methods qualitative inquiry used student end-of-program feedback surveys (n = 73) and academic semi-structured interviews (n = 3). Data was thematically analysed.

Results: Implementing DRUMBEAT had value for students. Benefits included skill development, deeper self-reflection and self-awareness, a sense of safety, an opportunity for selfcare and shifting perspectives. DRUMBEAT also provided students with a fun escape from the stresses of placement; it became an opportunity for creative expression, fostering wellbeing and mindfulness. The academics valued DRUMBEAT for the neurobiological benefits of rhythm, its opportunity for experiential learning combined with social and emotional growth and the enjoyment of the program. Connecting and learning together allowed for holistic relationships with students and the provision of more individualised support.

Conclusions: DRUMBEAT has value for interprofessional group learning. Introducing a creative psycho-educational groupwork program such as DRUMBEAT supports students’ personal and professional growth and has the potential for enhancing learning and wellbeing. These are skills necessary for mindful collaboration and reflective practice, which are known to enhance quality experiences and outcomes for service users.


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How to Cite

Haddadan, G., Hannan, A. M., Wright, N., & Saurman, E. (2023). "Group drum helps placement working": Unpacking the value of DRUMBEAT for interprofessional group learning during practice placement. Focus on Health Professional Education: A Multi-Professional Journal, 24(4), 87–103. https://doi.org/10.11157/fohpe.v24i4.633



Interprofessional Education