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J Interprof Care. 2016;30(2):191-200. doi: 10.3109/13561820.2015.1121215.

A longitudinal study of health professional students' attitudes towards interprofessional education at an American university.

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a Department of Internal Medicine , Massachusetts General Hospital , Boston , Massachusetts , USA.
b Yale School of Nursing , West Haven , Connecticut , USA.
c Department of General Internal Medicine , Int Med - Primary Care, Yale School of Medicine , New Haven , Connecticut , USA.
d Department of Pediatrics , Yale School of Medicine , New Haven , Connecticut , USA.
e Chronic Disease Epidemiology , Epidemiology & Public Health, Yale School of Public Health , New Haven , Connecticut , USA.
f Physician Assistant Program , University of California, Davis , Sacramento , California , USA.


Efforts to improve interprofessional education (IPE) are informed by attitudes of health professional students, yet there are limited US data on student characteristics and experiences associated with positive attitudes towards IPE. A cohort of US medical, nursing, and physician associate students was surveyed in their first and third years, using the Readiness for Interprofessional Learning Scale and Interdisciplinary Education Perception Scale. Information was also collected on demographics and experiences during training. Health professional students differed in their attitudes towards IPE; characteristics associated with having more positive attitudes at both time points included being a nursing student, female, older, and having more previous healthcare experience. Students who participated in interprofessional extracurricular activities (particularly patient-based activities) during training reported more positive attitudes in the third year than those who did not participate in such activities. Based on these findings, schools may consider how student characteristics and participation in interprofessional extracurricular activities can affect attitudes regarding IPE. Building on the positive elements of this interprofessional extracurricular experience, schools may also want to consider service-learning models of IPE where students work together on shared goals.


Education; interprofessional collaboration; interprofessional education; interprofessional learning; surveys; teamwork; work-based learning

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