Guidance On Global IPECP Research

The InterprofessionalResearch.Global and the Interprofessional.Global have recently released the “Guidance on Global Interprofessional Education and Collaborative Practice Research: Discussion Paper” in three languages: EnglishPortuguese and Spanish.

This Discussion Paper was developed by number of world-renowned IPECP experts over the last year to stimulate further discussion on global IPECP research. The Discussion Paper offers perspectives to inform discussions around the global research agenda for IPECP by identifying research priorities and providing guidance on theoretical frameworks, research methodologies, and composition of research teams. A proposed lexicon for the interprofessional field is also provided as an appendix. The lexicon serves as a working document towards developing consensus on terminology related to interprofessional education, learning, practice, and care. 

Please choose the language in which you wish to read and/or download the Discussion Paper and its Appendix interprofessional lexicon.  

Hossein Khalili
Co-Founding Lead: InterprofessionalResearch.Global

Johanna Dahlberg

Facilitator Interprofessional.Global

Discussion Paper In: ​

Table of Contents

  • Preface. 4
  • Executive summary. 5
  • Introduction. 7
  • Background to interprofessional education and collaborative practice. 7
  • Rationale for establishing a global interprofessional education and collaborative practice research agenda  8
  • Proposed interprofessional education and collaborative practice research priorities. 9
  • Proposed recommendations for research teams. 11
  • Objectives and key results for interprofessional education and collaborative practice research. 12
  • Call for collaborative partners. 13
  • Appendix A: Proposed lexicon for the interprofessional field. 14
  • Preface. 15
  • Introduction. 16
  • Proposed lexicon for the interprofessional field. 16
  • Core terms. 16
  • Peripheral terms. 17
  • Supplemental terms. 17
  • References. 20

Proposed Citation:

Khalili, H., Thistlethwaite, J., El-Awaisi, A., Pfeifle, A., Gilbert, J., Lising, D., MacMillan, K., Maxwell, B., Grymonpre, R., Rodrigues F., Snyman, S., Xyrichis, A. (2019). Guidance on Global Interprofessional Education and Collaborative Practice Research: Discussion Paper. A joint publication by InterprofessionalResearch.Global, & Interprofessional.Global. Retrieved from www.research.interprofessional.global

Executive summary

InterprofessionalResearch.Global (IPR.Global), a special interest group of the Interprofessional.Global, provides global leadership in interprofessional education and collaborative practice (IPECP) research. IPR.Global promotes and advocates for evidence-informed policies and practices through fostering and facilitating theory-driven, methodologically rigorous IPECP research.

This Discussion Paper aims to provide guidance on IPECP research. We provide a perspective of the current situation and the needs in IPECP research around the globe, make recommendations for research teams to advance IPECP theory-informed research by 2022, and invite collaborators to join us in this initiative. The appendix provides a proposed lexicon for the interprofessional field based on the current interprofessional literature. This lexicon serves as a starting point in developing a global consensus on a set of definitions and descriptions related to interprofessional education, learning, practice, and care. In doing so, and in response to the Article 4 of the Sydney Interprofessional Declaration (All Together Better Health V, 2010), IPR.Global and Interprofessional.Global plan to conduct a web-based global Delphi panel in early 2020.

Over the past decades, the rationale and drivers for IPECP have been well described in the global health care literature (Barr, 2005, 2015; Frenk et al., 2010; Institute of Medicine, 2000; Meads & Ashcroft, 2005; Pollard, Sellman, & Thomas, 2014; Jill Thistlethwaite & GRIN Working Group, 2012; Wagner et al., 2001; World Health Organization, 2010). IPECP is widely recognized as a potential route to improving the quality of the patient’s health care experience, improving the health of communities and populations, reducing the cost of health care delivery, and improving the work experience of service providers, known as the ‘quadruple aim’ (Berwick, Nolan, & Whittington, 2008; Brandt, Lutfiyya, King, & Chioreso, 2014). Looking forward, IPECP is poised to also facilitate the increasing demand of effective teamwork from health providers and its partners at the age of increasing complexity and technological advances in health diagnosis and management (Institute of Medicine, 2001, 2015).

While improvements in the quality of IPECP evaluative research studies have been noted, there is still much to be achieved. The research agenda for IPECP should elevate the process of enquiry by shifting focus from that of programme- or project-specific level interrogation to determining the impact of IPECP. The current need is for research that produces significant and scientifically sound evidence determining the impact of IPECP on the improvement of health outcomes, quality care and safety of service users; lowering of health care costs; burden on human resources for health, including ‘collaborative practice-readiness’ of health and social care professionals, resilience and work experience; and the eventual improvement in population health (Lutfiyya, Brandt, Delaney, Pechacek, & Cerra, 2016). In addition, current literature indicates that IPECP research requires improvements in the appropriateness and clarity of research questions, the selection of theoretical underpinnings, choice of research methodologies, and approaches to the dissemination of study findings to reach the broader interprofessional community (Lawn, 2016; Reeves, Boet, Zierler, & Kitto, 2015).

Proposed interprofessional education and collaborative practice research priorities

To meet the challenges discussed above, we propose the following global IPECP research priorities:

  1. Building the science and scholarship of IPECP through the discovery and integration of innovative evidence-informed strategies.
  2. Identifying and applying innovative approaches that embrace and address the inherent complexity of interprofessional endeavours.
  3. Developing evidence of impact along the continuum from interprofessional education to collaborative practice in person- and community-centred service delivery.

Proposed recommendations for research teams

  1. We recommend that IPECP research teams include diverse experts from various disciplines, e.g. health, social, education, economic, etc., as well as from the quantitative, qualitative and mixed-method research methodologies.
  2. Research teams should strive for the inclusion of learners, service users, community members and civil society as partners (e.g. as informants, data interpreters, knowledge translators) in interprofessional research.
  3. Research teams should ensure that studies/projects are underpinned by relevant theories, frameworks and/or models in order to produce meaningful contributions to the body of knowledge in IPECP.

We are committed to building and supporting a culture of global IPECP research, which is essential to generating evidence-based, theoretically-informed, and methodologically sound strategies. In leading the advancement of global IPECP research, we are committed to delivering the following key results before the All Together Better Health XI Conference in 2022:

  1. A joint partnership exploration team including Interprofessional.Global and IPR.Global members.
  2. A successful 4-day partnership development meeting.
  3. Working groups of Interprofessional.Global and IPR.Global functioning effectively and in an integrated way.
  4. Report on a global scan to identify (1) IPECP research and projects and (2) potential sources of research funding (globally, governmental, non-profit, profit).
  5. Best practice guidelines in IPECP research.
  6. Report on the models, theories and frameworks most useful and most commonly applied to IPECP research.
  7. Report on a Delphi study at the All Together Better Health (ATBH) X conference (2020).
  8. Release of consensus lexicon at ATBH XI conference (2022).
  9. Global IPECP research excellence awards at ATBH X and ATHB XI conferences.
  10. IPECP researchers web-based portal.

Call for collaborative partners

To accomplish these strategic actions, IPR.Global and Interprofessional.Global continue to seek collaborative partnership and sponsorship from around the globe. For more information about, and to join visit: