Interprofessional Education in the Arabic-speaking Middle East: Perspectives of Pharmacy Academics

J Interprof Care. 2016 Nov;30(6):769-776. doi: 10.1080/13561820.2016.1218830. Epub 2016 Oct 5.

Abstract

The current status of interprofessional education (IPE) in Arabic Middle Eastern countries is largely unexamined and there is a need to assess IPE and collaborative practice in these countries. As faculty attitudes towards IPE are believed to be one of the main factors that affect the successful integration of IPE into the different healthcare curricula, this article aims to explore the attitudes and views of pharmacy academics in Arabic-speaking Middle Eastern countries towards IPE and collaborative practice. The findings from this article are part of a larger study investigating pharmacy's perspectives of IPE and collaborative practice in Qatar and the Middle East. An online survey which included three validated scales was used to gather information from pharmacy academics at 89 pharmacy schools in 14 countries. The response rate was 107 out of 334 (32%) and the majority of the respondents were from Jordan, Qatar, Lebanon, and Saudi Arabia. Statistical analysis was completed descriptively as well as inferentially using a series of independent t-tests. Overall pharmacy academics had positive attitudes towards IPE. The majority of the respondents, 90.8% (n = 99), perceived IPE to be important. Age, likelihood to engage in IPE, and years of IPE experience were the factors that were related to faculty members' attitudes towards IPE. Highly perceived barriers for implementing IPE included cultural challenges for each profession, scheduling common courses, and activities in addition to limited resources. The study findings indicated that pharmacy academics in the Middle East are ready to pursue IPE. These results can serve as impetus for implementing IPE in Middle Eastern countries.

Keywords: Curriculum; Middle East; interprofessional education; interprofessional learning; pharmacy; surveys.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Education, Pharmacy*
  • Humans
  • Interprofessional Relations*
  • Lebanon
  • Qatar
  • Students, Pharmacy