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Validating the Readiness for Interprofessional Learning Scale (RIPLS) in the postgraduate context: are health care professionals ready for IPL?

Ross Reid, David Bruce, Katie Allstaff, David McLernon
Medical Education 2006, 40 (5): 415-22
16635120

AIMS: This paper describes the process of validating the Readiness for Interprofessional Learning Scale (RIPLS) for use with postgraduate health care professionals.

CONTEXT: The RIPLS questionnaire has proved useful in the undergraduate context, enabling tutors to assess the readiness of students to engage in interprofessional learning (IPL). With the drive in the National Health Service (NHS) to deliver health care in interprofessional teams, it seems logical to ask whether postgraduate education should, or could, be delivered successfully in interprofessional contexts. As a preliminary to undertaking an extended IPL project, the researchers tested the validity of the RIPLS tool in the postgraduate health care context.

METHOD: A modified version of the RIPLS questionnaire was administered to all general practitioners, nurses, pharmacists and allied health professionals in the Dundee Local Health Care Cooperative (LHCC) (n = 799). A total of 546 staff responded (68%).

RESULTS: Three factors, comprising 23 statements, emerged from the statistical analysis of the survey data, namely, teamwork and collaboration, sense of professional identity and patient-centredness. The internal consistency measure was 0.76. Analysis of variance suggested some key differences between the different professions in respect of the factors.

CONCLUSIONS: The RIPLS questionnaire was validated for use in the postgraduate context, thus providing researchers with a tool for assessing health professionals' attitudes towards interprofessional learning at practice level, community health partnership level or at a national level of education and training. Significant differences between professional groups should be taken into account in designing any interprofessional learning programme.

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