Changes in student perceptions after a semester-long interprofessional education activity in Qatar
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Objectives Interprofessional education (IPE) is rapidly becoming integrated into university accreditation standards worldwide. However, the impact of IPE on student learning and practice is largely unknown in the Middle East. This report describes a semester-long IPE course-based activity and evaluates student perceptions towards professional roles. Methods Pharmacy and Human Nutrition students from Qatar University completed a 15-week IPE activity that required students to work in groups to complete two assignments after an introductory event. The data were collected during meetings with students and faculty about their overall experience and course assignments. Perceptions regarding professional roles were determined by a pre- and post-reflection questionnaire. ResultsAfter completion of the assignments, fourteen students (37%) noted changed perceptions of themselves, as well as of the other healthcare profession. Twelve of fourteen (86%) noted changes regarding perceptions of the roles of the other healthcare profession, while 2/14 (14%) noted changes regarding perception of their own professional roles. Three of fourteen (21%) reported that their changed perceptions towards IPE were unfavourable. These changed perceptions largely focused on specialised roles of the respective professions. Conclusions A semester-long IPE experience was deemed beneficial in a Middle Eastern context. Future events and research should focus on fostering collaboration and interprofessional communication to enhance student attitudes and eventual preparation for interprofessional practice.