JOURNAL ARTICLE

Attitudes of faculty and students in medicine and the health professions toward interprofessional education

Carolyn Giordano, Elena Umland, Kevin J Lyons
Journal of Allied Health 2012, 41 (1): 21-5
22544404

BACKGROUND: This study evaluated the important relationship between faculty and student attitudes toward interprofessional education using the Interdisciplinary Education Perception Scale (IEPS).

METHODS: Medicine, nursing, occupational therapy, pharmacy, and physical therapy faculty (n = 177) completed the IEPS. Students from these disciplines participate in a 2-year, interdisciplinary curriculum in which they were assigned to a team to work with a patient volunteer. Students (n = 496) completed the IEPS at the end of program year one. The IEPS measures four factors: professional competence/autonomy; perceived need for professional cooperation; perception of actual cooperation/resource sharing within and across professions; and understanding the value of other professions.

FINDINGS: Overall attitude scores for faculty and students were high, ranging from 3.93 to 4.40 on a 5-point scale. Attitudes on each factor were also high, with the exception of factor 4, "understanding the value of other professions," having the lowest scores, 3.26 to 3.92.

CONCLUSION: The positive attitudes among faculty and students and across professions suggest an acceptance of the principles of interprofessional education and a readiness to engage in interprofessional practice. The lower scores on factor 4 indicate the need for additional educational programs focusing on understanding the roles of each profession.

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