Multi-sector perspectives on learning for interprofessional practice: lessons for higher education and organisational culture

Moira Lewitt, Amy Cross, Louisa Sheward, Pauline Beirne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
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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.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Interprofessional Care
Early online date11 Nov 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 11 Nov 2018


  • interdisciplinary
  • Interprofessional learning
  • child health
  • discourse analysis


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