Confident, Credible but Lonely – Outcomes Following Postgraduate Interprofessional Education in Rehabilitation


  • Rebecca Grainger University Of Otago Wellington
  • Pauline Boland
  • William Levack



Interprofessional education, Postgraduate qualifications, Continuing professional development


Background: Interprofessional education aims to enhance health service delivery. This study examined whether health professionals changed their clinical practice after completing a postgraduate interprofessional qualification in rehabilitation.

Methods & Findings: All graduates of postgraduate qualifications in rehabilitation at University of Otago were invited to complete a questionnaire. Thirteen participants were purposively selected for further in-depth interviews. Questionnaire data were summarized using descriptive statistics. Qualitative responses from questionnaires and interview transcripts were explored using thematic analysis. The survey response rate was 24% (77/315 students). Postgraduate study was reported to have had a positive impact on professional attitudes and commitment to learning (81%), to enhance interdisciplinary collaboration (79%), and to promote change in service delivery (40%). Themes identified from questionnaire responses were: 1) increased confidence, 2) enhanced credibility, and 3) widened view of rehabilitation. Analysis of the interviews identified three contrasting themes: 1) isolation hampers momentum, 2) managers and clinical leaders do not value postgraduate qualifications, 3) implementing change required postgraduate study plus persistence.

Conclusions: Educators and employers of health professionals should be aware of the benefits of postgraduate interprofessional education for health professionals and healthcare delivery. Employers should recognize and value these benefits and support health professionals to apply new skills in their clinical practice.

Author Biography

Rebecca Grainger, University Of Otago Wellington

Rebecca is a Rheumatologist with clinical interests are broad and include inflammatory arthritis, gout and scleroderma. To date her research has focused on gout, including both translational research and outcome measures in gout. She teaches postgraduate papers in Musculoskeletal and Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation at the University of Otago.  






Articles: Empirical Research