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The effectiveness of interprofessional classroom-based education in medical curricula: A systematic review

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Journal of Interprofessional Education & Practice Volume 15, Number 1, ISSN 2405-4526 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


As collaborative practice is progressively being introduced into our health care systems, interprofessional education (IPE) is being implemented in medical curricula as an effective preparation. However, the extent of the effect of IPE on program specific learning outcomes in medical students is not yet fully known. To assess the effectiveness of classroom-based interprofessional education in undergraduate medical education, a systematic review was performed. Searches were performed in EMBASE, Cochrane, Medline and PubMed. The eligibility criteria were: (1) any form of interprofessional learning; (2) sample including pre-clinical students from medicine and other health care professions; (3) pre- and post-intervention assessment; (4) a clear description of the learning objectives; (5) publication in English; and (6) (non-)experimental quantitative study designs. Exclusion criteria were: (1) unidisciplinary interventions; (2) postgraduate and/or clinical phase students; and (3) interventions not tested in an educational setting. The initial search yielded 3498 articles of which 7 articles were included. Included studies exhibit relatively low quality when subjected to Cochrane instruments measuring internal validity. Training formats include multiple techniques, ranging from traditional lectures to peer group assignments. Data on learning objectives show overlapping concepts of IPE, mainly focusing on teamwork and interprofessional collaboration (n = 6). A variety of instruments were used to assess learning objectives, including validated questionnaires and self-perception questionnaires. Positive results were shown in students’ attitudes towards learning (n = 4), and interprofessional collaboration (n = 3). Qualitative data presented in the studies, collected using focus groups, interviews, and surveys (n = 5), suggest educational (n = 5) and social gains (n = 4). Most reported concerns related to difficulties of IPE implementation (n = 3).Studies on interprofessional learning report positive outcomes of teaching pre-clinical students from medicine and other health care professions. Due to the variety of objectives, the lack of constructive alignment, and the impaired methodological quality of included studies, firm conclusions about IPE effectiveness cannot be formulated. To advance interprofessional collaboration in clinical and educational practice, more insight is required into the design of effective IPE curricula and set-up of IPE research.


Vuurberg, G., Vos, J.A.M., Christoph, L.H. & de Vos, R. (2019). The effectiveness of interprofessional classroom-based education in medical curricula: A systematic review. Journal of Interprofessional Education & Practice, 15(1), 157-167. Elsevier Ltd. Retrieved November 12, 2019 from .

This record was imported from Journal of Interprofessional Education & Practice on June 3, 2019. Journal of Interprofessional Education & Practice is a publication of Elsevier.

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