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Reading: Promoting Interprofessional Collaboration through the Co-Curricular Environment


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Educational Strategy

Promoting Interprofessional Collaboration through the Co-Curricular Environment


Amy V. Blue ,

Medical University of South Carolina, 45 Courtenay Dr., MSC 175, Charleston, SC 29425, US
About Amy V.

PhD,  Assistant Provost for Education,  Professor, Family Medicine

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James S. Zoller

Medical University of South Carolina, US
About James S.
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Interprofessional (IP) experiences are increasing in frequency and scope in health professions education, though little is known about the role of the co-curricular environment in fostering students’ attitudes towards IP collaboration. We examined if participants in IP co-curricular activities of substantive duration held attitudes toward IP learning and collaboration differently than students who did not participate in such activities. We distributed a questionnaire composed of the Readiness for Interprofessional Learning Scale (RIPLS) and the Interdisciplinary Education Perception Scale (IEPS) to the 2008, 2009, and 2010 graduates of an academic health center. Respondents indicated if they participated in any of the six substantive IP co-curricular activities offered by the institution. Respondents were grouped by participation in “one or more IP activity” or “no participation.” Independent sample T-tests were performed for each of the RIPLS and IEPS scales to assess differences between those groups. 997 (58.1%) of the graduates completed the survey; 52.9% of the respondents reporting participation in at least one IP activity. Of the seven scales from the two instruments, the mean scores of one scale were significantly different between the two groups: IEPS “perceived need for cooperation” (p<0.001).

Results indicate that students who have participated in a substantive IP co-curricular activity hold more positive attitudes toward the perceived need for cooperation. It is likely that as a result of their IP collaborative experiences, these students recognize the value and need for cooperation. It appears that important IP collaborative learning occurs within the IP co-curricular environment, and in turn, may translate into improved use of IP collaboration skills in practice.

How to Cite: Blue, A.V. and Zoller, J.S., 2012. Promoting Interprofessional Collaboration through the Co-Curricular Environment. Health, Interprofessional Practice and Education, 1(2), p.eP1015. DOI:
Published on 03 Apr 2012.
Peer Reviewed


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