Purpose: Given the emphasis on prevention in U.S. health care reform efforts, the importance of interprofessional education (IPE) that prepares health professions students to be part of effective health care teams is greater than ever. This study examined the prevalence and nature of IPE and interprofessional (IP) prevention education in U.S. academic health centers.
Method: The authors extracted a 10-item survey from the longer published IPE Assessment and Planning Instrument. In September 2010, they sent the survey to 346 health professions leaders in health sciences schools and colleges at 100 academic health centers. These institutions were identified via the online membership list of the Association of Academic Health Centers. The authors conducted descriptive statistical analysis and cross-tabulations.
Results: Surveys were completed by 127 contacts at 68 universities in 31 states and the District of Columbia. IPE was more prevalent than IP prevention education in all categories of measurement. Respondents affirmed existence of IPE in courses (85.0%) and in clinical rotations/internships (80.3%). The majority reported personnel with responsibility for IPE (68.5%) or prevention education (59.8%) at their institutional unit, and 59.8% reported an IPE office or center.
Conclusions: This study provides evidence that IPE and IP prevention education exist in academic health centers, but additional attention should be paid to the development of IP prevention education. Sample syllabi, job descriptions, and policies may be available to support adoption of IPE and IP prevention education. Further effort is needed to increase the integration of IP and prevention education into practice.