Exploring UK undergraduate healthcare students’ perspectives on how to effectively design IPE: A qualitative study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: To explore healthcare undergraduates’ views
on how to design effective IPE. The need for interprofessional education implementation in undergraduate healthcare education is gaining wide recognition globally. Students’ views about their learning experiences can offer useful insights to advance teaching and learning courses. Thus, in the IPE literature, students’ views on how to effectively design IPE can help shape future IPE plans.

Methods: Purposeful sampling was used to recruit healthcare students who attended IPE events across three UK institutions. Virtual focus groups were conducted, and audio recorded. Transcripts were thematically analysed and relevant themes were presented under three subheadings, pre, during and post IPE session.

Results: Twenty-five students from medicine, nursing, pharmacy, midwifery and other disciplines participated in six focus groups. Students thought IPE should be offered consistently across the programme’s years of study to ensure learning continuity. Students from programmes with higher placement hours (nursing and midwifery), suggested more IPE in placement. Pre-IPE sessions, introducing IPE to students attending for the first time was perceived to be important as the lack of awareness/ understanding of IPE could adversely impact their willingness to attend and their engagement. During IPE, interaction with other students was perceived as the core of an effective IPE session. Students reported difficulties
in communication with other students via online IPE sessions and thought they were less engaged compared to face-to-face sessions. Post-IPE, students valued reflective exercises, whereas traditional formal assessment was seen as a barrier to engagement with the learning.

Conclusion: Students considered IPE valuable to prepare for future practice. However, students felt that IPE experiences could be enhanced with proper planning to ensure regular compulsory IPE exposure. For better IPE
experiences, IPE design and delivery should be in line with each healthcare programme’s unique learning and training curriculum.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)304-312
JournalJournal of Taibah University Medical Sciences
Issue number2
Early online date31 Dec 2023
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2024


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