Making the transition from physiotherapy student to interprofessional team member

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Submitted by National Center... on Mar 14, 2014 - 11:14am CDT


To explore final-year physiotherapy students' perceptions and experiences of interprofessional learning in the university and placement setting.


Focus group and mixed qualitative and quantitative questionnaire.


Coventry University.


Third-year physiotherapy students at Coventry University.


The final-year physiotherapy cohort was invited to complete a questionnaire containing a mix of closed- and open-ended questions. Eight volunteers from the same cohort took part in a focus group.


The questionnaire achieved a response rate of 97% (97/100), and the focus group transcript revealed several themes. The majority of students identified an impact of interprofessional learning on their awareness and understanding of professional roles (74%, 72/97) and issues (71%, 69/97). The students also valued the role of other professionals (63%, 61/97), and recognised the support they could offer (60%, 58/97). These findings were reinforced and developed with respect to interprofessional working in the focus group discussion. Students were aware of increased personal and professional confidence which supported their developing identity as physiotherapists. They also recognised an ability to seek out ways to improve working relationships and to refer patients on to the most appropriate professional. Many students recognised the significance of clinical placements in their interprofessional learning (69%, 67/97), and identified that face-to-face interaction facilitated the social aspect of team working.


Interprofessional learning is effective in improving student physiotherapists' awareness of roles, issues and ability to develop collaborative working relationships, thus potentially leading to improved patient care.

Copyright © 2010 Chartered Society of Physiotherapy. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

PubMed URL:

Davies, K
Harrison, K
Clouder, D L
Gilchrist, M
McFarland, L
Earland, J
Journal Citation: 
Physiotherapy. 97(2):139-44, 2011 Jun.