In a health setting, interprofessional education (IPE) refers to the process of educating students from different health professions (e.g. medicine, nursing, pharmacy, etc.) together, in order to promote teamwork and collaboration among the various professions. IPE can be achieved in a number of ways, including:
The educator's role in an IPE setting is to facilitate the learning and collaboration among the various health professions, and to ensure that the students are exposed to a diverse range of perspectives and approaches. The student's role is to actively engage with the material and with their peers from other professions, and to learn from and about each other's disciplines.
IPE can be beneficial in a health setting because it can help to promote teamwork and collaboration among the various health professions, which can improve patient care and outcomes. It can also help to prepare students for the realities of the healthcare environment, where they will often be working as part of a team with other health professionals.
Teaching and developing interprofessional education modules in various disciplines in healthcare has a large effect on the knowledge, skills and attitudes of learners about collaborative teamwork ➕➕➕➕➕ . In addition, interprofessional education training programmes have a large, positive effect on students’ knowledge and attitudes ➕➕➕➕➕ . There is also some evidence to suggest that female students benefit more from interprofessional education training than men.
This evidence summary is based on two meta-analyses. The first  explored the effect of teaching and developing interprofessional education modules on students’ knowledge, skills and attitudes. There were 12 studies included in this paper yet these were limited to pre- and post-test design with no randomised controlled trials. The studies represented healthcare students from a range of disciplines. The risk of publication bias was not examined by the authors and there was significant heterogeneity across the studies (97%) ➕➕➕. The second study  explored the effect of interprofessional education training on students’ attitudes. There were 6 studies included in this paper yet these were limited to pre-and post-test design with no randomised controlled trials. The studies represented healthcare students from a range of disciplines. The authors found no indication of publication bias when assessed using a visual inspection of funnel plots however there was significant heterogeneity across the studies (98%) ➕➕➕.