Assessing IPECP: the selection process for the 2014 National Center's curated collection of measurement tools

One of the goals of the National Center is to foster high quality interprofessional education and collaborative practice (IPECP) research, and the importance of using the highest quality instruments available in doing so cannot be overstated. Our evaluation team recently completed an initial review of the IPECP literature, which resulted in the 26 instrument descriptions now available in a special collection within the National Center’s Resource Exchange. 

At a glance: National Center measurement instrument collection 

  • Began with 2012 CIHC report on 128 IPECP instruments

  • Narrowed search to include instruments that were readily available for viewing or used in at least two separate projects leading to reports in refereed journal

  • Eliminated instruments that did not fully focus on IPECP and added a nationally standardized patient satisfaction instrument

  • Resulted in 26 instruments for initial inclusion in the special curated collection

Our search began with an analysis of the Canadian Interprofessional Health Collaborative (CIHC) Report (2012), which categorized 128 IPECP instruments. We want to thank CIHC publicly for their report, which grounded our initial task. The broad criteria for inclusion on the National Center list were either that the actual tool was included in journal articles or available online or that it had been used in research in at least two separate projects leading to reports in a refereed journal. In most cases, meeting the second criterion meant that the instrument had demonstrated some level of adaptability to multiple projects or needs.  Within these journal articles, some evidence of the tools’ validity was provided. 

In addition, other IPECP instruments came to our attention through expert recommendations or internet searches.  These were included as they had been used in at least two distinct projects reported in two or more refereed journal articles, criteria that served as our proxy for evidence of use and adaptability.

Because we wanted to provide users access to the instruments through the National Center’s Resource Exchange, we began a process of identifying and contacting the instrument authors. Authors of IPECP measurement tools were asked for permission to provide users guidance to accessing the original instrument. In some cases, authors suggested certain restrictions such as licensing or the purchase or use of their original instruments. Author permission pages were created to allow users to access tools and instruments directly or instructions about how access and licensure may be obtained. 

Despite our best search efforts, we are completely confident that other instruments exist that may show evidence of validity and reliability for particular uses. In other words, there are surely other valid IPECP instruments extant that slipped through our search net. This list is our point of departure, an effort to put the first wave of IPECP assessment resources into the hands of educators, practitioners, researchers and other users. We invite anyone with an instrument not here to please submit it—with our enthusiastic thanks—in hopes of expanding the collection to everyone’s benefit. We also invite you to comment on the instruments.