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J Allied Health. 2013 Spring;42(1):3-9.

Students' expectations when entering an interprofessional master's degree program for health professionals: a qualitative study.

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  • 1Dep. of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society, Division of Social Work, Karolinska Institutet, Huddinge, Sweden.



Interprofessional education in health care today is a prioritized area. Among many studies on interprofessional learning, few focus on student expectations prior to interprofessional education for health professionals at an advanced level. The purpose of the study was to explore and describe expectations of post-professional graduate students enrolled in an interprofessional master's degree program for health professionals.


Prior to entering their programs of study, a questionnaire with three questions was given to 42 participants from six professions: biomedical analysis, dietetics, nursing, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, and social work. Their responses were analyzed using inductive qualitative content analysis.


Four categories of expectations emerged regarding the interprofessional program and future learning experiences: (1) increased professional competence for clinical practice and research; (2) enhanced interprofessional collaboration; (3) personal development; and (4) increased quality of patient care. Most individual answers covered more than one category.


Expectations when entering an interprofessional master's degree program for health professionals include sociocultural learning, which enables students to contribute to increased quality of care. That the students expected not only increased skills for interprofessional collaboration and personal development but also for professional competence is of special interest and needs attention in research and practice.

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