Students' approaches to learning in clinical interprofessional context

National Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education's picture
Submitted by National Center... on Mar 14, 2014 - 11:15am CDT

BACKGROUND: Health care professionals are supposed to work in teams. Students in health care need to learn how to collaborate during their undergraduate education. Interprofessional learning environments, where collaboration is necessary, may be differently accepted by students depending on their approach to learning.

AIM: We investigated health care students' evaluations of interprofessional clinical training in relation to their study orientations.

METHODS: The participants were 369 students (40 occupational therapy-, 85 medical-, 52 physiotherapy-, and 192 nursing students) attending an IPE course at a Swedish University Hospital. Data were collected by questionnaires measuring orientations to studying and attitudes towards the clinical training and the IPE concept before and after the training. The response rate was 77 %. Study groups were formed by a cluster analysis on the basis of the students' learning orientations.

RESULTS: Three clusters were found: Low collaboration-, Collaborative Constructivist-, and Cookbook groups. These clusters were related to different professions and how students perceived their interprofessional learning environment.

CONCLUSIONS: Study orientations appear to play a role in the way students evaluate interprofessional training. This should be taken into account in instruction. Students with a 'Cookbook' approach to learning showed an increased understanding of interprofessional collaboration after the course.

PubMed URL:

Hylin, Uffe
Lonka, Kirsti
Ponzer, Sari
Journal Citation: 
Medical Teacher. 33(4):e204-10, 2011.