Bumping along: Healthcare students' perspectives on interprofessional education

  • Tayyeba Iftikhar Foundation University Medical College, Foundation University Islamabad, Pakistan.
  • Ayesha Ghassan Baqai Medical University, Karachi, Pakistan.
  • Irfan Shukr Foundation University Medical College, Foundation University Islamabad, Pakistan.
  • Shazia Inam Foundation University Medical College, Foundation University Islamabad, Pakistan.
Keywords: attitude, collaboration, interprofessional education, readiness, students


Background: Global regulatory bodies and the PM&DC (Pakistan Medical and Dental Council) share a competency framework that emphasizes the importance of graduates being effective communicators and collaborators in the healthcare system to achieve positive patient outcomes. However, due to unclear roles, conflicting power dynamics, and varying educational qualifications among healthcare professionals, effective interprofessional teamwork is often not realized, leading to suboptimal outcomes.

Objective: To evaluate the attitudes and readiness of healthcare students towards inter-professional education.

Methods: This comparative cross-sectional study was conducted from March to August 2020 by utilizing a prevalidated inventory called the Readiness of Interprofessional learning scale (RIPLS) to assess the readiness of students in healthcare programs. Data was collected using Google Forms, and the Kruskal-Wallis Test was employed to compare perceptions among the four groups.

Results: 157 students completed the questionnaire, resulting in a response rate of 58%. All four groups demonstrated high readiness for mutual learning (mean rank=78.78) although physiotherapy students had higher scores (mean rank=79.36) compared to the other groups, while nursing students had the lowest scores (mean rank=77.92).

Conclusion: The positive attitude of students towards interprofessional education and collaboration highlights the need for integration with other healthcare disciplines at both the curricular and co-curricular levels. Clinical case studies, problem-based learning, and simulations can be effective methods for fostering students' understanding of each profession's role.

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