Date Published: July 11, 2018
Publisher: Springer International Publishing
Author(s): Michael Marcussen, Birgitte Nørgaard, Sidse Arnfred.
The aim of this study was to conduct a systematic review of studies describing the effects of interprofessional education (IPE) on undergraduate healthcare students’ educational outcomes, compared with conventional clinical training in mental health.
MEDLINE, CINAHL, PsychINFO, and EMBASE were searched for studies published in January 2001–August 2017. All retrieved papers were assessed for methodological quality; Kirkpatrick’s model was employed to analyze and synthesize the included studies. The following search terms were used: undergraduate, interprofessional education, and educational outcomes.
The eight studies that met the inclusion criteria were highly diverse regarding the studied IPE interventions, methods, and outcomes. Participants included students receiving clinical training in mental health from the following professions: medicine, nursing, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, psychology, and social work. The results of the studies suggest that students respond well to IPE in terms of more positive attitudes toward other professions and improvement in knowledge and collaborative skills. Limited evidence of changes in behavior, organizational practice, and benefits to patients was found.
Based on the eight included studies, IPE interventions appear to have an impact regarding positive attitudes toward other professions and increased knowledge of and skills in collaboration compared to conventional clinical training. However, further study of both the processes and the long-term impacts of undergraduate IPE in mental health is needed. The authors recommend that service users are involved in the implementation and evaluation of IPE interventions in mental health to undergraduate healthcare students.
The review is structured in accordance with the Population, Intervention, Comparison, Outcome, and Study (PICOS) design framework , which was also used for the identification of key concepts for an effective search strategy. The electronic databases MEDLINE, CINAHL, PsychINFO, and EMBASE were searched. Our search terms were identified in collaboration with a research librarian in order to specifically address the aim of our review. Combinations of the following search terms were used: undergraduate, inter/multi-professional education, inter/multi-disciplinary education, mental health, and educational outcomes. The keywords were used in each electronic database to identify all types of IPE interventions in mental health education at the undergraduate level. We searched among papers published between January 2001 and August 2017 in English, German, or one of the Scandinavian languages. The studies present clinical IPE interventions with specific educational outcomes, preferably with a comparison group. We included only studies involving undergraduate students undertaking clinical training in mental health from the following professions: medicine, nursing, occupational therapy, pharmacy, physiotherapy, psychology, and social work. The mental health criterion was employed to identify adults (aged 18 years and over) with any form of mental health problem, except those relating to a primary diagnosis of learning disability, substance abuse, or dementia. Further information can be provided to readers by request.
Our findings are presented in three sections dealing with (a) the characteristics of the included studies, the details given of the IPE interventions, and the study results; (b) the studies’ description of methodology and key information relating to the reported outcomes (PICOS); and (c) methodological considerations relating to the overall quality of the included studies.
The included studies showed great variation with respect to the IPE interventions examined and assessment methods. The ambiguous results of the eight different IPE interventions, undertaken in eight different clinical settings, are thus unremarkable. The quality of the studies furthermore varied considerably. One study had a robust longitudinal, before and after design, that included a control group ; six studies demonstrated adequate alignment between the objectives of the study and the reported outcomes, although their research designs were less rigorously described [1, 7, 13, 14, 25, 27].