Original Publication
Open Access

A Case-based Interprofessional Education Forum Improves Students' Perspectives on the Need for Collaboration, Teamwork, and Communication

Published: August 15, 2013 | 10.15766/mep_2374-8265.9484

Included in this publication:

  • IPE Forum Case Study.docx
  • IPE Forum Guiding Questions.docx
  • Instructor's Guide.docx

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Editor's Note: This publication predates our implementation of the Educational Summary Report in 2016 and thus displays a different format than newer publications.


Introduction: Interprofessional education (IPE) focusing on patient centered care is an emerging trend in health care education. With the goal of facilitating interprofessional teamwork and collaboration, an IPE forum was implemented following the keys to success outlined by Buring et al, and the impact of the IPE experience on health science students was examined using the Readiness for Interprofessional Learning Scale (RIPLS) and the Interdisciplinary Education Perception Scale (IEPS). Methods: The exercise was a single IPE forum in which students representing five health disciplines were divided into interdisciplinary groups of 8-12 students to discuss roles, team goals, and outcomes for a video-based case study. This experience was followed by a faculty panel question and answer period. The entire IPE forum exercise takes approximately 4 hours to complete. Results: We investigated the effectiveness of the interprofessional education forum employing a pre-/posttest design. The sample of convenience included 426 students from our University’s College of Health and Behavior Sciences from two successive years who participated in a single Interprofessional education (IPE) forum. A paired sample t-test was employed to determine whether significant differences existed between pre- and postRIPLS and IEPS ratings. The results indicate that after the IPE forum was completed all professions demonstrated an increase in scores on the IEPS (p = .000) and RIPLS (p = .000) instruments. Additionally, improvements were seen in the RIPLS subscales and IEPS subscales. Discussion: These findings suggest introduction of a single case-based IPE forum into an existing curriculum is an achievable task and can serve as a method to initiate interprofessional education. The results of our study indicate an IPE forum is an effective way to introduce students to other health science professions, improve readiness for inter-professional learning, increase perceptions of cooperation, facilitate teamwork and collaboration, and increase understanding of the need for interprofessional communication.

Educational Objectives

By the end of this module, the learner will be able to:

  1. Exhibit an increased awareness of the need for interprofessional teamwork and collaboration as demonstrated by increased scores on the Readiness for Interprofessional Learning Scale (RIPLS) and the Interdisciplinary Education Perception Scale (IEPS).
  2. Increase positive professional identity scores on the RIPLS and increased perception of actual cooperation scores on the IEPS.
  3. Discuss and clarify each profession’s scope of practice and the roles of each interprofessional team member.
  4. Verbalize an appreciation of the need for interprofessional communication assessed during a follow up semi-structured interview session.

Author Information

  • Chad Lairamore, PhD, PT, NCS: University of Central Arkansas
  • Lorrie George-Paschal: University of Central Arkansas
  • Kimberly McCullough: University of Central Arkansas
  • Myra Grantham: University of Central Arkansas
  • Debra Head: University of Central Arkansas

None to report.

This research was funded in part by the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation in fulfillment of the AAMC/IPEC interprofessional education initiative.

Prior Presentations
Head D, Lairamore C, George L, McCullough K, Shock M. An Interprofessional Educational Forum Improves Allied Health Students Interprofessional Collaboration and Teamwork. Presented at: Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo (FNCE); October 2012; Philadelphia, PA.

Lairamore C, George L, Jordan K, McCullough K, Shock M. An interprofessional educational forum improves health science student cooperation and teamwork. Presented at: APTA CSM 2012; February 2012; Chicago, IL.

George L, Lairamore C, Jordan K, McCullough K, Shock M. The Effect of an Interprofessional Educational Forum on Allied Health and Nursing Students' Readiness for Interprofessional Collaboration. Presented at: Collaborating Across Borders III; November 2011; Tucson, AZ.


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Lairamore C, George-Paschal L, McCullough K, Grantham M, Head D. A case-based interprofessional education forum improves students' perspectives on the need for collaboration, teamwork, and communication. MedEdPORTAL. 2013;9:9484. https://doi.org/10.15766/mep_2374-8265.9484