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J Contin Educ Health Prof. 2009 Summer;29(3):151-6. doi: 10.1002/chp.20028.

Improving the clarity of the interprofessional field: implications for research and continuing interprofessional education.

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Keenan Research Centre, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael's Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


Significant investments are being made around the world to improve interprofessional collaboration, yet limits in our knowledge of this field restrict the ability of decision makers to base their decisions upon evidence. Clarity of the interprofessional field is blurred by a conceptual and semantic confusion that affects our understanding of key elements of education and practice activities, their interlinked relationship, and their effects on health or system outcomes. Systematic reviews of interprofessional education (IPE) and interprofessional collaboration (IPC) have provided some insight into the nature and effectiveness of this field, but a lack of clarity remains. In this article we report on a scoping review currently being undertaken to analyze the interprofessional field, improve its conceptual clarity, and identify elements needed to enhance its development. Emerging review findings regarding participants and settings, interventions, and outcomes are reported. The article provides implications from this review and discusses them in relation to continuing IPE and future research.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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