An emerging framework for understanding the nature of interprofessional interventions

Scott Reeves's picture
Submitted by Scott Reeves on May 16, 2014 - 3:46pm CDT

Resource Type: 
Journal Article

The current conceptual problems related to IPE and IPC can be observed by the variety of terms employed to describe these interventions. Terms include “interprofessional learning”, “interdisciplinary collaboration”, “multiprofessional training”, and “transdisciplinary practice”. Leathard (1994) termed this problem a “terminological quagmire”– a situation that had not changed when she revisited these fields nearly ten years later (Leathard, 2003). Work by, for example, Herbert (2005) and D'Amour & Oandasan (2005) has merged IPE and IPC into the single notion of IECPCP (interprofessional education for collaborative patient-centred practice). While these conceptualizations helpfully acknowledge the interrelated nature of IPE and IPC activities, they do not alleviate the confusion that exists between them, which inhibits our ability to pinpoint the nature of the effectiveness of each.

Given the conceptual challenges that continue in these fields and which undermine our ability to identify what is being studied, and summarize its effectiveness, we are undertaking a scoping review. Scoping reviews, in contrast to systematic reviews, are exploratory, and aim to map out the literature available on a topic, identifying key concepts, theories, sources of evidence, and gaps (Canadian Institutes of Health Research, 2009).

Funded by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research, this scoping review project involves a review of the empirical research to develop and test a framework, the use of social science theory to inform the framework, and consultations with study decision-makers to ensure its relevance to research users.

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Scoltt Reeves
Joanne Goldman
Merrick Zwarenstein
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