Interprofessional education (IPE) aims to develop healthcare practitioners who work effectively in teams, demonstrate strong communication skills, respect others, and have a working knowledge of the roles and responsibilities of other professionals. Of identified research to date, it is unclear what students perceive as important for effective IPE delivery and learning. The purpose of this study was to identify graduate students' perceptions of facilitators and barriers to learning interprofessional practice using phenomenology. Three semi-structured focus groups were conducted including athletic training, occupational therapy, or speech-language pathology students and the transcripts were analyzed using thematic analysis. Four themes emerged about IPE teaching methods and delivery: (1) addressing roles and responsibilities (2) student collaboration and communication (3) engaging with faculty and (4) enhancing realism and diversity of experiences. The themes suggested that IPE can either facilitate or create barriers for students when learning roles and responsibilities, collaborating, and communicating with fellow students, and engaging with faculty. Enhancing the realism and diversity of represented professionals were perceived as potential facilitators for future IPE sessions.


interprofessional practice, interprofessional education, phenomenology, thematic analysis, education, rehabilitation

Author Bio(s)

Dr. Mary Anne Riopel, PT, DPT, Ph.D. is a Program Director and Associate Professor in the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program in the School of Rehabilitation Sciences at Moravian University. Please direct correspondence to mriopel.pt@gmail.com

Dr. Kimberly Wynarczuk, PT, DPT, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor in the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program in the School of Rehabilitation Sciences at Moravian University.

Dr. Taylor Grube, RN, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor in the Helen Briedegam School of Nursing at Moravian University.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.





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