Student experiences of undergraduate interprofessional education in Scotland: Emerging views of teamwork and professional identity

Stella Howden, Catherine Bovill, Maggie Nicol

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract / Description of output

In 2005, Queen Margaret University (QMU) in Edinburgh launched its Interprofessional Education (IPE) modules, bringing together undergraduate students from eight different healthcare disciplines (occupational therapy, physiotherapy, speech and language therapy, nursing, dietetics, radiography, podiatry and audiology). IPE is increasingly becoming part of undergraduate healthcare programmes; however, there is a paucity of comprehensive evaluation research in this area. A programme of IPE evaluation is currently in place at QMU which aims to explore the views of undergraduate students and IPE tutors towards these new modules. This work is essential for module development and makes an important contribution to knowledge about IPE process and outcomes.This paper outlines one part of the IPE evaluation at QMU. Selected findings from first year students are presented in relation to three student groups: physiotherapy, nursing and radiography. Quantitative and qualitative data are used to explore student perceptions of interprofessional teamwork and emerging professional identity. Relatively few studies use mixed methods in investigating undergraduate IPE (Freeth et al 2002). Both qualitative and quantitative data demonstrated students had a positive view of teamwork and collaboration, associating this with enhanced patient care. In contrast, there were differences between disciplines in their views of professional roles and identities. Physiotherapy and nursing students clearly described what they perceived to be their distinct and valuable, ‘profession related’ qualities. Radiography students were less certain of their sense of professional identity, describing concern that other health care professionals may fail to value radiographers’ contribution to teamwork and patient care.In these early educational stages, students hold positive and negative views of their own and others’ professional identities which may impact on how they ‘learn with, from and about each other’ (Barr 2002a). Within this paper we expand these findings in light of current research and explore the implications for pedagogical approaches and curriculum design.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2007
EventEuropean Interprofessional Education Network Conference - Krakow, Poland
Duration: 12 Sept 200714 Sept 2007


ConferenceEuropean Interprofessional Education Network Conference
Abbreviated titleEIPEN 2007

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • interprofessional education
  • physiotherapy
  • radiography
  • nursing
  • speech and language therapy


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