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Med Teach. 2007 May;29(4):403-5.

Facilitators' perceptions of delivering interprofessional education: a qualitative study.

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Centre for Interprofessional Practice, University of East Anglia, Norwich, Norfolk, United Kingdom.



The literature on facilitation of interprofessional learning (IPL) tends to discuss its importance rather than providing empirical accounts focused on understanding its nature and the factors that might make it effective.


This study aims to provide an initial insight into facilitators' experiences of facilitation, and begin to identify some of the key elements that contribute to successful facilitation of IPL.


2 focus group interviews were held with facilitators of IPL (n = 5; n = 8) within a higher education setting. Follow-up telephone interviews were undertaken with 6 facilitators. Thematic analysis was undertaken on the data. All facilitators were invited to a presentation of findings in order to help validate the authors' interpretation of the data.


Results indicated that facilitators valued both their induction and their weekly debriefing meetings in preparing and developing them for their role. To be effective, facilitators felt they needed to display a range of attributes including enthusiasm, humour and empathy. Despite enjoying their work, facilitators reported that their role in IPL was challenging, more so than problem based learning (PBL) with uni-professional groups.


The study indicated that the facilitation of IPL is a complex and demanding activity. It also indicated that the use of a facilitator induction and regular de-briefing sessions were key to supporting the facilitators work and fostering interprofessional collegiality.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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