Research and evaluation: The present and the future

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Leading Research and Evaluation in Interprofessional Education and Collaborative Practice, 2016, pp. 355 - 368
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© The Author(s) 2016. In the field of interprofessional education (IPE) as academics we are continuously asked: ‘What is the evidence for IPE?' The question is really about effectiveness and outcomes, and has the sub-text of ‘Why should we change what we do?’ So, does IPE work? In our experience there are fewer questions posed about the effectiveness of team-based practice yet ‘learning together to work together’ (WHO, 1988) seems inherently logical, in the same way that clinically-based education is necessary for clinical practice. Those health systems, which have the luxury of employing a diverse range of health and social care professionals, work on the premise that no one practitioner knows everything or has all the skills required for health care delivery in an increasingly complex environment. However, there are still many areas relating to interprofessional collaborative practice (IPECP) that need exploring and greater understanding through well-designed research projects. These include uncertainties about leadership and ‘followership’, hierarchies and power relationships, the nature of interprofessional identity and that of collaborative practice (CP) itself.
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