The Current Status and Problems with the Implementation of Interprofessional Education in Japan.

Sachiko Ogawa, Yoshinori Takahashi, Misako Miyazaki


Background: Although interprofessional education (IPE) has come to be considered essential in health and social care education programs, most IPE programs in Japan focus on clinical settings. However, following the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, IPE programs are considered essential for community development, especially in disaster-affected areas. To identify key issues for the development of IPE, we aimed to clarify the current status of IPE programs and problems in their implementation using an original questionnaire.

Methods and Findings: The targets were 865 undergraduate courses that qualify students to take national registered health/social care examinations. Effective responses were received from 284 targets. Of these 284 respondents, 103 respondents had already implemented an IPE program and 181 respondents had not. Among the 103 respondents who had already implemented an IPE program, we found a tendency to collaborate with partners in clinical settings or in social settings. Furthermore, respondents who had implemented or were planning to implement an IPE program had difficulty with ‘interdisciplinary and/or extramural collaboration’ and ‘educational factors’.

Conclusions: These difficulties could be considered barriers to developing effective IPE programs for community-based collaboration between health and social care professionals. Future research should investigate more specific solutions to these problems.


Interprofessional education; IPE-implementing university; Non-IPE-implementing university; University planning-IPE-implementation

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