Differences in Pre-licensure Interprofessional Learning: Classroom Versus Practice Settings

Judy E. Anderson, Christine Ateah, Pamela Wener, Wanda Snow, Colleen Metge, Laura MacDonald, Moni Fricke, Sora Ludwig, Penny Davis



Background: Health Canada and Cochrane reviews indicate a need for rigorous outcome testing following interprofessional learning, particularly in practice settings. This led to research questioning whether knowledge, attitudes, perceptions, values, and skills regarding collaborative patient care improve after interprofessional learning in classroom and practice settings based on the degree of exposure to interprofessional learning compared to a control group.

Methods and Findings: Pre-licensure students from seven health-profession programs were assigned to three groups: Control (no intervention), Education (classroom-based interprofessional learning), and Full-Participant (classroom-based and practice-based interprofessional learning). They were later surveyed to assess outcomes. Immersion at an interprofessional practice setting had a greater impact on scores than classroom-based interprofessional education. Both interventions significantly improved attitudes, perceptions, knowledge, and skills related to interprofessional collaboration. Only immersion improved the perceived importance of sharing leadership. Changes after the education intervention persisted at five-month follow-up.

Conclusions: Interprofessional learning in classroom and practice settings positively impacted participants' knowledge, attitudes, perceptions and values, and skills regarding interprofessional teamwork. Use of a longitudinal study with a control group provided evidence that pre-licensure interprofessional learning would increase awareness of the need to collaborate. Findings encourage longerterm study of how interprofessional learning in various settings could improve how future practitioners approach patient care.


Attitudes; Practice-site immersion; Collaboration; Longitudinal study; Pre-licensure

Full Text:


DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.22230/jripe.2011v2n1a54