Purpose: No validated tools assess all four competency domains described in the 2011 report Core Competencies for Interprofessional Collaborative Practice (IPEC Report). The purpose of this study was to develop and validate a tool based on the IPEC Report core competency domains that assesses the interprofessional attitudes of students in the health professions.
Method: In 2012, an interprofessional team of students and two of the authors developed and administered a survey to students from four colleges and schools at the University of Utah Health Sciences Center (Health, Medicine, Nursing, and Pharmacy). The authors randomly split the responses with complete data into two independent subsets: one for exploratory factor analysis (EFA), the other for confirmatory factor analysis (CFA). They performed these analyses to validate the tool, eliminate redundant questions, and identify subscales. Their analyses focused on aligning tool subscales with the IPEC Report core competencies and demonstrating good construct validity and internal consistency reliability.
Results: Of 1,549 students invited, 701 (45.3%) responded. The EFA produced a 27-item scale, with five subscales: teamwork, roles, and responsibilities; patient-centeredness; interprofessional biases; diversity and ethics; and community-centeredness (Cronbach alpha coefficients: 0.62 to 0.92). The CFA indicated that the content of the five subscales was consistent with the EFA model.
Conclusions: The Interprofessional Attitudes Scale (IPAS) is a novel tool that, compared with previous assessment instruments, better reflects current thinking about interprofessional competencies. IPAS should prove useful to health sciences institutions committed to training students to work collaboratively in interprofessional teams.