Influencing factors and processes of interprofessional professional education (IPE) implementation

Med Teach. 2021 Jul;43(sup1):S39-S45. doi: 10.1080/0142159X.2019.1672864. Epub 2019 Oct 11.


Background: Interprofessional education (IPE) is an instructional approach for equipping health professions students with essential competencies needed to provide collaborative patient-centred care. The implementation and sustainability of IPE are challenging for many institutions. This qualitative study identified barriers and facilitators in the processes of IPE implementation.

Methods: We conducted mixed focus groups (FGs) with faculty members from medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, nutrition and dietetics, nursing, chiropractic, Chinese medicine, and other health sciences programmes; who were involved in the planning of IPE at institutional or programme level, or who participated in IPE activity. Transcripts were analysed using grounded theory.

Results: We identified 25 barriers and facilitators, clustered under five major categories of commitment, faculty engagement, IPE design, support, and delivery.

Conclusions: Successful implementation of IPE may hinge on actions in 5 stages; commitment, faculty engagement, IPE design, support, and delivery. The processes will require consistent leadership to break down professional silos and enhance collaborative effort in IPE implementation.

MeSH terms

  • Education, Professional*
  • Faculty
  • Focus Groups
  • Humans
  • Interprofessional Relations
  • Students, Health Occupations*