Date Presented 04/02/2022

Coronavirus disease 2019 forced educators to provide virtual content while maintaining standards such as interprofessional education (IPE). The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of a virtual IPE activity on students’ attitudes and perceptions of IPE and to compare virtual with in-person IPE learning. Quantitative analysis found that virtual IPE can improve students’ attitudes and perceptions toward IPE and that it may be have as much impact as in-person activities. Qualitative analysis supports these findings.

Primary Author and Speaker: Casey Humphrey

Additional Authors and Speakers: Leah Shea Simpkins

Contributing Authors: Aaron Sciascia, Christen Page, Karina Christopher, Lisa Jones

When considering the definition of interprofessional education (IPE), where two or more professionals learn with, from and about each other to improve collaboration and quality of care (World Health Organization, 2010), academic programs must be selective with the activities they choose to best fulfill this definition. Collaborate case studies are an effective method of providing IPE and have shown a positive influence on attitudes and perceptions towards IPE as well as interprofessional practice (Gurava & Barr, 2018). Most IPE occurred through face-to-face interactions; however, with the recent COVID-19 restrictions, IPE shifted to online learning formats. Although the advent of video platforms has allowed for a variety of patient simulation activities, there have been limited reports of virtual IPE case study discussions. With the shift to online learning mediums becoming more common, it is imperative to determine its effectiveness in IPE as compared to in person IPE (Page et al., 2021). Additionally, the transition to virtual learning was made without truly understanding the impact that virtual educational experiences may have on student learning outcomes (Alrasheed et al., 2021). Therefore, the purpose of this mixed methods study was to deliver a virtual IPE activity and to compare pre and post activity assessments on readiness, attitudes, and perceptions of IPE amongst 5 health programs. A secondary purpose was to compare the results of a previously delivered in-person case study activity with the current virtual case study activity. A modified version of the Readiness for Interprofessional Learning Scale Questionnaire (RIPLS) and the Interdisciplinary Education Perception Scale (IEPS) given pre and post participation in a virtual IPE case-based activity was utilized for quantitative data. Student reflective essays post activity was utilized for qualitative data. Data from the virtual IPE activity and previous in-person activity was compared. Findings showed that there were no post-session differences for the RIPLS. However, there were a variety of differences that occurred following the virtual session for the IEPS suggesting that the virtual activity would have a positive influence on attitudes and perceptions towards IPE. When comparing the virtual activity to the in-person activity, there were variations amongst the RIPLS and IEPS scores where improvement occurred in some instances but not in others. The IEPS scores improved following the activity both in-person and virtual sessions except for 2 specific instances where no change occurred from pre to post activity for the virtual session. This suggests that virtual delivery of an IPE case study can positively influence attitudes and perceptions towards IPE but there are distinct findings needing to be discussed. Qualitative findings supported these results. Virtual education is here to stay and it is vital that academics understand the impact of virtual IPE activities. While virtual IPE has the ability to improve students’ attitudes and perceptions towards IPE and be as impactful as similar in-person activities in some areas, it appears that outside factors may strongly influence students’ readiness, attitudes, and perceptions towards IPE which are more difficult to control in an online learning format. Educators should consider the influence that varying outside factors may have on students when evaluating the overall effectiveness of their own virtual IPE activity.


World Health Organization. (2010). Framework for action on interprofessional education and collaborative practice. Switzerland: World Health Organization.;jsessionid = 4F94B6358BDD7012DB5F458B8A1FE27C?sequence = 1

Guraya, S.Y., & Barr, H. (2018). The effectiveness of interprofessional education in healthcare: A systematic review and meta-analysis. The Kaohsiung Journal of Medical Sciences, 34, 160-165.

Alrasheed, A., Altulahi, N., Temsah, M.H., Almasri, Z., Alghadeer, S., Mubarak, A.M., Alzamil, H., Bashatah, A.S., & AlRithia, Y. (2021). Interprofessional education competition during the COVID-19 pandemic at King Saud University: Benefits and Challenges. Journal of Multidisciplinary Healthcare,14, 673-679.

Page, C.G., Christopher, K., Simpkins, L.S., Humphrey, C.E., Jones, L.G., Sciascia, A.D. (2021). “Where I am weak, they are strong”: Students’ perceptions and attitudes toward interprofessional education. Internet Journal of Allied Health Sciences & Practice, 19(1), 1-16.