University of Limerick
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'Bumping along': a qualitative metasynthesis of challenges to interprofessional placements

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posted on 2019-11-25, 14:13 authored by Noreen O'Leary, Nancy Salmon, Amanda M. Clifford, Michelle O'Donoghue, Scott Reeves
Context Interprofessional practice is required to manage complex healthcare needs globally. It is well-established that interprofessional placements (IPP) prepare students to work collaboratively, yet IPP implementation remains limited and disjointed. Objectives This review synthesised student, educator and service-users perspectives in order to better understand challenges of IPP and provide recommendations for sustainable IPP implementation. Methods A systematic metasynthesis of qualitative literature sourced from databases including CINAHL, Embase and PsycINFO was completed. Studies that incorporated student, educator and/or service-user perspectives on IPP experiences were included. We focused specifically on factors limiting implementation of IPP. The presage-process-product theory provided the theoretical framework for inductive synthesis of 41 empirical studies. A confidence rating for findings was formulated using CERQual. Findings We developed three themes which represent key challenges to IPP becoming embedded in placement culture. Firstly, thin theoretical foundations underpinned IPP, limiting understanding of the learning processes involved. Second, implementation relied heavily on individual champions, which curtails investment and sustainability when personnel change. Finally, students, educators and service-users were unsure of the function of IPP and their respective roles, leading to uncertainty along with some negative perceptions of this placement approach. Conclusions In line with the presage-process-product theoretical framework, IPP would benefit from explicit connections with educational and change management theories at presage period. During the process stage, IPP requires coordinated leadership and resource investment. Within the product stage clear integration of interprofessional learning outcomes in curricula is advised. Addressing the identified challenges across the stages of IPP will support further development of IPP, firmly establishing this approach within placement culture. IPP can them make a significant contribution to the development of a collaborative practice-ready workforce. This in turn will enhance service-user outcomes and safety.



Medical Education;53 (9), pp. 903-915


Wiley and Sons Ltd




This is the author version of the following article,'Bumping along': a qualitative metasynthesis of challenges to interprofessional placements, 2019 Medical Educaton 53 (9), pp. 903-915 which has been published in final form at . This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.



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