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Clin Teach. 2010 Sep;7(3):197-201. doi: 10.1111/j.1743-498X.2010.00381.x.

Do interprofessional education and problem-based learning work together?

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Bristol East Support and Recovery Team, Speedwell Centre, Bristol, UK.



Problem-based learning (PBL) and interprofessional education (IPE) are becoming increasingly well-established concepts in modern undergraduate medical school curricula. The delivery of IPE through a PBL setting appears to hold good face validity. However, there has to date been no published review of the evidence for the value of combining these two teaching methods.


A review of the literature regarding the use of IPE and PBL together. Firstly the rationale for delivering IPE though PBL is examined and reviewed. Secondly the current evidence for the efficacy of such a model is reviewed.


The current rationales for delivering IPE though PBL are presented. The practical and theoretical barriers to delivering IPE though PBL are presented. The current evidence base regarding outcomes for delivery of IPE through PBL is presented with reference to student knowledge, skills, attitudinal outcomes and facilitator views.


There is favourable evidence for IPE within PBL settings improving attitudes towards other professional groups, and thus fulfilling one of the main aims of IPE. Little is known regarding knowledge and skills outcomes for this model. Facilitator views of the model appear favourable. Collaboration between IPE and PBL appears to be most appropriate for areas of the curriculum that will have relevance for all in their professional lives. It is suggested that delivery of IPE though PBL could fulfil a major role in improving interprofessional relations, and ultimately patient care. If true IPE PBL groups are to be implemented within curricula. The impact this will have on resources and the cross-professional planning needed will be considerable.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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