In order to build the evidence base for interprofessional education and practice, it is important to establish how the concepts and theories are understood by higher education providers, policy-makers, managers, and practitioners. Using an interdisciplinary research approach, and facilitated by the use of visual images, we undertook a discourse analysis of interviews and discussions around definitions, competencies, and cultures of learning for interprofessional practice in the context of child health and social care in Scotland. Challenges to interprofessional practice were seen as generated within professional hierarchies and the complicatedness of working with chronic or multisystem disease. In order to work collaboratively, individual practitioners should understand the boundaries of their own knowledge and skills and demonstrate the capacity for interpersonal communication (within and between professions), as well as problem-solving and dealing with uncertainty. While there was agreement on these as key learning needs for collaborative working, the term interprofessional education was rarely used in practice by the interviewees and there was perception of a gap between university and workplace settings in supporting learning for interprofessional practice. It is recommended that educational frameworks acknowledge that the interprofessional learning journey is influenced by context and organisational culture.
- Interprofessional learning
- child health
- discourse analysis
- School of Health and Life Sciences - Professor in Child & Family Health
- Learning for Healthcare Practice
- Institute of Healthcare Policy and Practice and the affiliated Alzheimer Scotland Centre for Policy and Practice