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Abstract

Patient care is complex and demands that health professionals work together effectively. Interprofessional education (IPE) encourages collaboration by educating students from different professions together. This study examined the effectiveness of IPE in terms of changing students’ perceptions of teamwork, professional identity, role, competency and autonomy, and the need for interdisciplinary co-operation. Two multidisciplinary cohorts of health science students (n=51 and n=48) elected to participate in a problem-based learning module (PBL). The module included problems addressing areas of professional identity and cases requiring a multidisciplinary team approach. Evaluation was undertaken using the Readiness for Interprofessional Learning Scale (RIPLS) and the Interdisciplinary Education Perception Scale (IPES). Regarding the RIPLS, both cohorts reported significant (p<0.05) improvements in their perceptions of teamwork, collaboration, and positive professional identity. Regarding the IEPS students’ perceptions of professional competency and autonomy improved significantly (p<0.05) in both cohorts. An IPE module delivered using PBL appears valuable for professional development.

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