Promoting interprofessional understandings through online learning: a qualitative examination

Lisa Gaye McKenna, Malcolm James Boyle, Claire Elizabeth Palermo, Elizabeth Molloy, Brett Anthony Williams, Ted Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Interprofessional education is increasingly a core component of health professional curricula. It has been suggested that interprofessional education can directly enhance patient care outcomes. However, literature has reported many difficulties in its successful implementation. This study investigated students perceptions of participating in an online, Web-based module to facilitate interprofessional education. Three focus groups, each with 13-15 students, from emergency health (paramedic), nursing, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, and nutrition and dietetics were conducted with students who participated in an online interprofessional education module at one Australian university. Thematic analysis was employed to analyze interview transcripts. Four themes emerged: professional understanding, patient-centeredness, comparison with other interprofessional education activities, and overcoming geographical boundaries. Students were overwhelmingly positive about their learning experiences and the value of the module in assisting their understandings of the roles of other health professionals. Online approaches to interprofessional education have the potential to enhance learning and overcome geographical and logistical issues inherent in delivering face-to-face interprofessional education. Furthermore, our design approach allowed students to watch how other health professionals worked in a way that they were unable to achieve in clinical practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)321 - 326
Number of pages6
JournalNursing and Health Sciences
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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