Characteristics, attributes, and outcomes of allied health transition to practice programs: A mixed method systematic review




transition, transition interventions, allied health, new graduate, early career, novice, attributes, systematic review


Introduction: Workforce sustainability is critical to equitable and safe healthcare. However, in health, there is evidence of poor transition of new graduates to the workplace with a resultant loss of health professionals from the system. Globally, the allied health workforce is crucial for universal health, but little is known about allied health transition and transition interventions. The aim of this mixed-methods systematic review was to describe the characteristics of transition to practice programs for novice allied health professionals, the outcomes from these programs, how they are measured, and how transition challenges are addressed in transition programs.

Method: Searches were conducted in MEDLINE, CINAHL, PsychInfo, AMED and the Cochrane Library. All study types were included that met the inclusion criteria. Two researchers reviewed the studies and reached a consensus through discussion. Articles were evaluated using the Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool with reporting guided by the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses. 

Results: A total of 15 studies were included. Various allied health populations, interventions, timeframes, program content, and learning modes were used but not well described. There was misalignment between allied health graduates' expectations and practice reality. While authors claimed success from transition interventions, outcomes were not clear, and there were a lack of tools for robust outcome measurement. 

Conclusion: Well-designed studies on allied health transition and transition interventions are needed to build evidence on effective interventions and support. A primary focus should be on developing and measuring well defined transition outcomes and the longer-term impact of transition on career progression and success. 


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How to Cite

McAleer, R., Hanson, L., & Kenny, A. (2023). Characteristics, attributes, and outcomes of allied health transition to practice programs: A mixed method systematic review. Focus on Health Professional Education: A Multi-Professional Journal, 24(3), 1–30.