Applying the Readiness for Interprofessional Learning Scale (RIPLS) to medical, veterinary and dual degree Master of Public Health (MPH) students at a private medical institution

Roopnarine, R. and Boeren, E. (2020) Applying the Readiness for Interprofessional Learning Scale (RIPLS) to medical, veterinary and dual degree Master of Public Health (MPH) students at a private medical institution. PLoS ONE, 15(6), e0234462. (doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0234462) (PMID:32525910) (PMCID:PMC7289424)

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Purpose: With the emergence of zoonoses such as Ebola, many medical educators, have recommended the need for providing Interprofessional Education (IPE) as a pedagogical tool for familiarizing medical (MD) students with the framework of One Health (OH). This is important as students need to understand, the wider impacts of animal and environmental health factors on human health. IPE initiatives which typically incorporate the principles of OH, can provide MD and veterinary (DVM) students with a greater awareness of the role that animal diseases and climate change have on global health. However, negative attitudes to IPE have been reported as a key limitation to IPE implementation. The purpose of this paper is to examine the differences in readiness for interprofessional learning of medical and other allied human health professional students, including veterinarians and students undertaking dual degrees in combination with a Master of Public Health (MPH). Reflecting on Role Theory (RT) and Social Identity Theory (SIT), the paper aims to contribute to the understanding of differences in perceptions that exist between different types of health professionals. Methods: Students at a medical University enrolled in MD, DVM, DVM MPH and MD MPH programs, were invited to complete the standardized Readiness for Interprofessional Learning Scale (RIPLS), which consists of 19 Likert scale items measuring concepts relating to teamwork, professional identity and roles and responsibilities. A total of 364 students across the four programs took part. Descriptive and inferential statistical analyses were performed to assess differences between the programmes. Results: Results indicate that MD students score lower on the different RIPLS items compared to DVM, MD MPH and DVM MPH students. DVM and DVM MPH students are generally more positive about the need for teamwork, while MD MPH and DVM MPH students have a stronger positive identity about the need for IPE. Conclusions: The findings drawn from this study suggests that the MD students keep on seeing themselves as a separate group of health professionals in their own right. In order to guarantee an increased level of understanding on issues relating to the human-animal-environmental spectrum, medical curricula might benefit from the incorporation of shared learning and teamwork, as occurs within the MPH, enabling students to appreciate the value of interprofessional collaboration to their future practice. This is especially important during a time at which human-animal-environmental issues are affecting social and economic life worldwide.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Boeren, Professor Ellen
Creator Roles:
Boeren, E.Writing – original draft
Authors: Roopnarine, R., and Boeren, E.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Education
Journal Name:PLoS ONE
Publisher:Public Library of Science
ISSN (Online):1932-6203
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 Roopnarine, Boeren
First Published:First published in PLoS ONE 15(6): e0234462
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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