Exploring interprofessional education and collaborative practice in Australian rural health services

Lyn Frances Gum, Linda Sweet, Jennene Greenhill, David Prideaux

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
118 Downloads (Pure)


This article explores how work-based interprofessional education (IPE) influences collaborative practice in rural health services in Australia. Using a qualitative case study design, three rural hospitals were the focal point of the project. Marginal participant observations (98 hours) and semistructured interviews (n = 59) were undertaken. Participants were medical practitioners, nursing and midwifery professionals, physiotherapists, paramedics, social workers and administrative staff, who provided services in relation to each hospital. Data in the form of audio recordings and field notes, including researcher reflections were recorded over a three-year period. Whilst this study comprised of three phases, this article explores the extent to which collaborative practice was present or not before and after IPE. An inductive content analysis resulted in the following themes: Conceptualizing Collaborative Practice, Profession-Driven Education, and Professional Structures and Socialization. Community of practice theory is used to explore the barriers created through profession-based communities of practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173-183
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Interprofessional Care
Issue number2
Early online date20 Aug 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Case study
  • collaborative
  • communities of practice
  • interprofessional education
  • professional socialisation
  • work-based learning


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