Objectives: Faculty attitudes are believed to be a barrier to successful implementation of interprofessional education (IPE) initiatives within academic health sciences settings. The purpose of this study was to examine specific attributes of faculty members, which might relate to attitudes towards IPE and interprofessional teamwork.
Methods: A survey was distributed to all faculty members in the medicine, nursing, pharmacy and social work programmes at our institution. Respondents were asked to rate their attitudes towards interprofessional health care teams, IPE and interprofessional learning in an academic setting using scales adopted from the peer-reviewed literature. Information on the characteristics of the respondents was also collected, including data on gender, prior experience with IPE, age and years of practice experience.
Results: A total response rate of 63.0% was achieved. Medicine faculty members reported significantly lower mean scores (P < 0.05) than nursing faculty on attitudes towards IPE, interprofessional teams and interprofessional learning in the academic setting. Female faculty and faculty who reported prior experience in IPE reported significantly higher mean scores (P < 0.05). Neither age, years of practice experience nor experience as a health professional educator appeared to be related to overall attitudinal responses towards IPE or interprofessional teamwork.
Conclusions: The findings have implications for both the advancement of IPE within academic institutions and strategies to promote faculty development initiatives. In terms of IPE evaluation, the findings also highlight the importance of measuring baseline attitudinal constructs as part of systematic evaluative activities when introducing new IPE initiatives within academic settings.