Capstone Title

Best Practices in IPE Throughout Literature: Identifying Common Supports, Barriers, and Recommendations for Future Program Development

Submission Date


Document Type

Entry Level Capstone

Degree Name

Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD)

First Mentor

Kate Barrett, OTD, MPH, OTR/L


Interprofessional education (IPE) is defined by AOTA (2015) as an “occasion by which students from two or more professions learn about, from, and with each other to improve collaboration and quality of care”. IPE is closely related to and often overlaps with interprofessional collaboration (IPC) within healthcare settings. IPC “occurs when multiple health workers from different professional backgrounds work together with patients, families, [caregivers], and communities to deliver the highest quality of care” (World Health Organization [WHO], 2010, p. 7). The overall aim of IPE is to promote and develop effective IPC thereby improving patient outcomes (Khan, 2016).

Current research shows that IPE is hindered by ‘uniprofessional’ culture, a diversity of approaches to care and patient planning, and conflict over leadership within an interprofessional team (Marcussen, 2018). Within IPE some students have reported they feel unable to openly discuss questions, challenge professionals, or express criticism of users’ views (Marcussen, 2018). Generally, students graduating from traditional training programs do not possess IP expertise, have unclear role definitions, and lack communication skills (Marcussen, 2018). Several studies reveal students who participate in IPE experiences demonstrate positive changes in opinions regarding advantages to IPC, have improved confidence with, and gained a stronger sense of clinical competence (Marcussen, 2018; Kangas, 2018).

Engagement in interprofessional learning may lead to health care providers who demonstrate higher levels of safety and more efficient delivery of medical care (AOTA, 2015). The purpose of this review of literature is to identify interventions used within the Interprofessional Education Competency (IPEC) Domains of AOTA to promote successful program development and implementation within IPE. Supports and recommendations have been included to educate others on ways to negate the barriers identified within current IPE practice and promote improved IPC.

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