The Meaning of Interprofessional Education

By | 15th April 2019

Photo by Samuel Zeller


A quick post here, but one of some importance.

Currently, for all those that wish to submit a paper to the journal, our guidelines do include some definitions that can help, including the most commonly used for Interprofessional Education (IPE):

Interprofessional education occurs when members (or students) of two or more health and/or social care professions engage in learning with, from and about each other to improve collaboration and the delivery of care.

The challenge has been for many educators, academics and health workers is actually framing what IPE is within the educational context. This is quite different from it’s meaning, but being the educator who understands its meaning and then trying to convey, frame and contextualize it for those within an educational institution is never easy.

A paper just published in JIC addresses this issue. Kristina Sundburg of the Karolinksa Institutet and her co-authors (including the late Prof. Scott Reeves) investigated such framing, looking at what the meanings of IPE are within an academic context, in Scandinavia. The authors, after pulling their results together were able to define three frame components of IPE:  the definition of IPE, the rationale of IPE, and the presentation of IPE. As differences were noted within these components from individual to individual, the authors were able to highlight difficulties that many face when trying to implement IPE.

These three components form a nice backbone for all those wanting to implement IPE to look at. Think about your definitions, your rationale and how you will present it. With this in depth approach, the authors have been able to provide us with a start to understand how IPE as an educational phenomenon is perceived and implemented within an institution and is well worth the read!