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Med Teach. 2011;33(9):e461-70. doi: 10.3109/0142159X.2011.587915.

The evaluation of learner outcomes in interprofessional continuing education: a literature review and an analysis of survey instruments.

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Princess Margaret Hospital, Canada.



Interprofessional education (IPE) is thought to be important in fostering interprofessional practice (IPP) and in optimizing patient care, but formal evaluation is lacking.


To identify, through review of IPE evaluation instruments in the context of Barr/Kirkpatrick's hierarchy of IPE learner outcomes, the comprehensiveness of current evaluation strategies and gaps needing to be addressed.


MEDLINE and CINAHL were searched for work relating to IPE/IPP evaluation published between 1999 and September 2010 that contained evaluation tools. Tool items were stratified by learner outcome. Trends and gaps in tool use and scope were evaluated.


One hundred and sixty three articles were reviewed and 33 relevant tools collected. Twenty-six (78.8%) were used in only one paper each. Five hundred and thirty eight relevant items were identified, with 68.0% assessing changes in perceptions of IPE/IPP. Fewer items were found to assess learner reactions (20.6%), changes in behaviour (9.7%), changes in knowledge (1.3%) and organizational practice (0.004%). No items addressed benefits to patients; most were subjective and could not be used to assess such higher level outcomes.


No gold-standard tool has been agreed upon in the literature, and none fully addresses all IPE learner outcomes. Objective measures of higher level outcomes are necessary to ensure comprehensive evaluation of IPE/IPP.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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