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Interprofessional education in aged-care facilities: Tensions and opportunities among undergraduate health student cohorts


Annear, M and Walker, K and Lucas, P and Lo, A and Robinson, A, Interprofessional education in aged-care facilities: Tensions and opportunities among undergraduate health student cohorts, Journal of Interprofessional Care, 30, (5) pp. 627-635. ISSN 1356-1820 (2016) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2016 Taylor & Francis

DOI: doi:10.1080/13561820.2016.1192995


This article examines the reflective discourses of medical, nursing, and paramedic students participating in interprofessional education (IPE) activities in the context of aged-care clinical placements. The intent of the research is to explore how students engage with their interprofessional colleagues in an IPE assessment and care planning activity and elucidate how students configure their role as learners within the context of a non-traditional aged-care training environment. Research participants included cohorts of volunteer medical (n = 61), nursing (n = 46), and paramedic (n = 20) students who were on clinical placements at two large teaching aged-care facilities in Tasmania, Australia, over a period of 18 months. A total of 39 facilitated focus group discussions were undertaken with cohorts of undergraduate student volunteers from three health professions between February 2013 and October 2014. Thematic analysis of focus group transcripts was assisted by NVIVO software and verified through secondary coding and member checking procedures. With an acceptable level of agreement across two independent coders, four themes were identified from student focus group transcripts that described the IPE relations and perceptions of the aged-care environment. Emergent themes included reinforcement of professional hierarchies, IPE in aged care perceived as mundane and extraneous, opportunities for reciprocal teaching and learning, and understanding interprofessional roles. While not all students can be engaged with IPE activities in aged care, our evidence suggests that within 1 week of clinical placements there is a possibility to develop reciprocal professional relations, affirm a positive identity within a collaborative healthcare team, and support the health of vulnerable older adults with complex care needs. These important clinical learnings support aged-care-based IPE as a potentially powerful context for undergraduate learning in the 21st Century.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:aged care, clinical placement, focus groups, interprofessional education, undergraduate
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Health services and systems
Research Field:Aged health care
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Other health
Objective Field:Other health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Annear, M (Dr Michael Annear)
UTAS Author:Lucas, P (Dr Peter Lucas)
UTAS Author:Lo, A (Dr Amanda Lo)
UTAS Author:Robinson, A (Professor Andrew Robinson)
ID Code:112674
Year Published:2016
Web of Science® Times Cited:8
Deposited By:Wicking Dementia Research and Education Centre
Deposited On:2016-11-23
Last Modified:2017-11-07

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