Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
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Assessment tools in pre-licensure interprofessional education: A systematic review, quality appraisal and narrative synthesis

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journal contribution
posted on 2021-08-23, 10:27 authored by Hailah Almoghirah, Hamde Nazar, Jan IllingJan Illing
Objectives: Interprofessional education (IPE) aims to provide students with the opportunity to develop and demonstrate the team working behaviours and skills that will lead to positive patient outcomes. This systematic review aims to identify and critically appraise the assessment tools used after a pre-licensure IPE intervention and provide guidance on which tool to use according to the focus of the intervention.
Methods: In July 2019, the following electronic databases were searched: MEDLINE, ERIC, CINHAL, EMBASE and NEXUS website. All studies involving pre-licensure health care students exposed to an IPE intervention and undertook an assessment measuring student knowledge, skills, behaviour, or change in organisational practice or a benefit to patients were included. Studies that used tools relying on self-assessment only were excluded. Constructive alignment of the IPE intervention with the assessment was evaluated and quality assessment of the studies and critical appraisal of the validity evidence for the tools was undertaken.
Results: From 9502 returned studies, 39 studies met the inclusion criteria and were analysed. These were rated as good in terms of methodological quality. Acquisition of knowledge was the most commonly assessed outcome, mainly with pre/post knowledge tests, followed by behaviour change, which was measured by a range of validated tools. Patient benefit was defined as change in clinical effectiveness, patient safety or patient satisfaction. Constructive alignment of the IPE aim with the assessment was limited due to issues with study reporting. Tools measuring behaviour change demonstrate mixed adherence to quality standards around reliability, validity and scales and scoring.
Conclusions: Various methods have been used to identify change following IPE; however, choosing the most appropriate tool to support and align with the aim of the IPE intervention is crucial. We have critically appraised the available tools and offered an indication of their quality. This has informed the production of a decision aid to support the selection of the appropriate IPE assessment tool depending on the purpose of the intervention. More studies using these tools in rigorous study designs are required to substantiate the evidence base.


King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia



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Published Citation

Almoghirah H, Nazar H, Illing J. Assessment tools in pre-licensure interprofessional education: A systematic review, quality appraisal and narrative synthesis. Med Educ. 2021;55(7):795-807.

Publication Date

13 January 2021

PubMed ID



  • Health Professions Education Centre

Research Area

  • Health Professions Education




  • Published Version (Version of Record)