Qualitative evaluation of three practice-based interprofessional learning initiatives : application of the 'contact hypothesis

FURNESS, Penny, ARMITAGE, Helen and PITT, Richard (2012). Qualitative evaluation of three practice-based interprofessional learning initiatives : application of the 'contact hypothesis. International Journal of Medical Education, 3, 83-91.

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Objectives - The evaluation aimed to explore reactions to, learning from and the perceived impact and sustainability of practice-based interprofessional learning initiatives established by The Trent Universities Interprofessional Learning in Practice project.

Methods - The evaluation had a qualitative design and was guided by Kirkpatrick's evaluation framework. Facilitators, managers, practitioners, students and service users were invited to participate. This article focuses upon three of the project's practice-based interprofessional initiatives. Fifteen participants were interviewed about their experiences of, and opinions about, the initiative in their practice setting. A thematic analysis was conducted, following which findings were considered through the lens of the 'contact hypothesis' a theoretical framework which sets out variables purported to influence the success of inter-group contact.

Results - Seven themes were identified. Four derived from Kirkpatrick's framework: reaction, learning, impact and sustainability. Initial reactions were positive; however learning and impact were considered minimal, and sustainability unlikely. The evaluation revealed significant problems in developing successful, sustainable, service user-focused interprofessional learning opportunities in these three sites. Three final themes were based upon contact hypothesis variables which helped elucidate the disappointing outcomes: organisational support, positive expectations, and co-operation/working together.

Conclusions - Results offer insights which could help medical education establishments and their practice partners develop successful practice-based interprofessional learning initiatives for students in the future. Initiatives should be designed to meet local working practices and opportunities; there should be an awareness that change is challenging and time-consuming; and preparation of and support in host organisations at all levels should be a priority.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Centre for Health and Social Care Research
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.5116/ijme.4f94.8831
Page Range: 83-91
Depositing User: Penny Furness
Date Deposited: 19 Sep 2012 13:35
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 20:15
URI: https://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/6019

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