Improving the clarity of the interprofessional field: Implications for research and continuing interprofessional education

Authors

  • Joanne Goldman MSc,

    Research Associate
    1. Keenan Research Centre, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael's Hospital, Office of Continuing Education and Professional Development, University of Toronto
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  • Merrick Zwarenstein MD, MSc,

    Director
    1. Health Services Sciences, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Senior Scientist, Institute of Clinical Evaluative Sciences, Associate Professor, Department of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto
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  • Onil Bhattacharyya MD, PhD,

    Scientist
    1. Keenan Research Centre, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael's Hospital, Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Toronto
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  • Scott Reeves PhD

    Scientist, Corresponding author
    1. Keenan Research Centre, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute & Centre for Faculty Development, St. Michael's Hospital, Wilson Centre for Research in Education, Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto
    • Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael's Hospital, 30 Bond Street, Toronto, Ontario M5B 1X2, Canada
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Abstract

Significant investments are being made around the world to improve interprofessional collaboration, yet limits in our knowledge of this field restrict the ability of decision makers to base their decisions upon evidence. Clarity of the interprofessional field is blurred by a conceptual and semantic confusion that affects our understanding of key elements of education and practice activities, their interlinked relationship, and their effects on health or system outcomes. Systematic reviews of interprofessional education (IPE) and interprofessional collaboration (IPC) have provided some insight into the nature and effectiveness of this field, but a lack of clarity remains. In this article we report on a scoping review currently being undertaken to analyze the interprofessional field, improve its conceptual clarity, and identify elements needed to enhance its development. Emerging review findings regarding participants and settings, interventions, and outcomes are reported. The article provides implications from this review and discusses them in relation to continuing IPE and future research.

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