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“Mainstreaming” Interprofessional Education within Hospital Settings: Findings from a Multiple Case Study

Author(s): Elisa Hollenberg | Scott Reeves | Mary Agnes Beduz | Lianne Jeffs | Debbie Kwan | Jacques Lee | Mandy Lowe | Jane Merkley | Lynne Sinclair | Maria Tassone | Ivy Oandasan

Journal: Journal of Research in Interprofessional Practice and Education
ISSN 1916-7342

Volume: 1;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 10;
Date: 2009;
Original page

Keywords: Interprofessional education | Interprofessional collaboration | Mainstreaming | Realistic evaluation

Background: Interest in interprofessional education (IPE) to promote effective interprofessional collaboration (IPC) has gained momentum across healthcare, professional education, and government sectors. In general, the IPE literature tends to report single-site studies. This article presents a rare study that reports a largescale multi-site IPE initiative. It draws upon a newly developed notion of mainstreaming—introduced to the literature by Barr and Ross—that helps illuminate the implementation issues related to an IPE initiative.Methods and Findings: A realistic evaluation framework was employed to explore the overarching impact of this large initiative (involving 6 IPE programs within 13 hospitals) on the teaching hospital network in which it was implemented. Qualitative methods were used to gather a total of 142 interviews with program leaders, facilitators, and learners. Findings provide insight into the mainstreaming of IPE in relation to educational, professional, and organizational outcomes. Educational outcomes detail how inter-organizational partnerships developed among hospitals with the sharing of ideas and resources for implementing IPE and IPC. Professional outcomes describe learners’ experiences of increased awareness of the policy agenda and the meanings and value they attach to IPE and IPC. Organizational outcomes demonstrate that interprofessional champions with senior management support and protected time were core mainstreaming elements, and yet participants outlined a range of concerns and desires for the sustainability of this IPE initiative.Conclusions: This article provided empirical insight into the perceptions, ideas, and experiences of IPE from a wide range of program developers, facilitators, and attendees. Barr and Ross’ concept of mainstreaming and the use of a realistic evaluation framework provide a useful way to illuminate the processes and outcomes of implementing a large multi-institutional IPE initiative.
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