The use of standardised patients in interprofessional education curriculum delivery: A causal-comparative study of student feedback


  • Vernon Curran Memorial University of Newfoundland
  • Adam Reid Memorial University of Newfoundland
  • Shari Fitzgerald Memorial University of Newfoundland
  • Olga Heath Memorial University of Newfoundland
  • Paula Mullins-Richards Memorial University of Newfoundland



interprofessional education, standardised patients, causal-comparative evaluation


Introduction: Interprofessional education (IPE) has emerged as an essential component of training for students in the health and social care professions. Standardised patients (SPs) have also been developed as an important simulation-based learning modality in health and social care curricula due to the authenticity and realism of the patient or client encounter that may be replicated. Reports evaluating the use of SPs across an IPE curriculum in the health and social care professions are limited.

Methods: This evaluation study used a causal-comparative research design to examine the effect of SPs as an instructional method in an IPE curriculum. Evaluative outcomes of the educational experiences of students attending 37 IPE learning modules offered between Autumn 2006 and Winter 2012 were analysed.

Results: A total of 6,561 students from seven health and social care professions rated the usefulness of the instructional methods used in each module through post- module surveys. Students consistently rated SPs as significantly more useful than other instructional methods, and overall mean satisfaction scores were significantly higher for IPE modules that incorporated SPs.

Conclusions: This study’s findings demonstrate the positive effect that SPs can have on the learning experiences of health and social care students. By Using SPs in IPE curricula, the authenticity of classroom-based interprofessional learning experiences can be enhanced and lead to more positive IPE learning outcomes. 


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How to Cite

Curran, V., Reid, A., Fitzgerald, S., Heath, O., & Mullins-Richards, P. (2015). The use of standardised patients in interprofessional education curriculum delivery: A causal-comparative study of student feedback. Focus on Health Professional Education: A Multi-Professional Journal, 16(3), 16–28.