Perceptions of residents, medical and nursing students about Interprofessional education: A systematic review of the quantitative and qualitative literature

Cora L.F. Visser*, Johannes C.F. Ket, Gerda Croiset, Rashmi A. Kusurkar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: To identify facilitators and barriers that residents, medical and nursing students perceive in their Interprofessional Education (IPE) in a clinical setting with other healthcare students. Methods: A systematic review was carried out to identify the perceptions of medical students, residents and nursing students regarding IPE in a clinical setting. PubMed, CINAHL, ERIC and PsycInfo were searched, using keywords and MeSH terms from each database's inception published prior to June 2014. Interprofessional education involving nursing and medical students and/or residents in IPE were selected by the first author. Two authors independently assessed studies for inclusion or exclusion and extracted the data. Results: Sixty-five eligible papers (27 quantitative, 16 qualitative and 22 mixed methods) were identified and synthesized using narrative synthesis. Perceptions and attitudes of residents and students could be categorized into 'Readiness for IPE', 'Barriers to IPE' and 'Facilitators of IPE'. Within each category they work at three levels: individual, process/curricular and cultural/organizational. Readiness for IPE at individual level is higher in females, irrespective of prior healthcare experience. At process level readiness for IPE fluctuates during medical school, at cultural level collaboration is jeopardized when groups interact poorly. Examples of IPE-barriers are at individual level feeling intimidated by doctors, at process level lack of formal assessment and at cultural level exclusion of medical students from interaction by nurses. Examples of IPE-facilitators are at individual level affective crises and patient care crises situations that create feelings of urgency, at process level small group learning activities in an authentic context and at cultural level getting acquainted informally. These results are related to a model for learning and teaching, to illustrate the implications for the design of IPE. Conclusions: Most of the uncovered barriers are at the cultural level and most of the facilitators are at the process level. Factors at the individual level need more research.

Original languageEnglish
Article number77
JournalBMC Medical Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 3 May 2017

Cite this