Promoting Collaboration in Health Care Teams through Interprofessional Education: A Simulation Case Study

Ozgur Ekmekci


This simulation study explores how the integration of interprofessional components into health care curriculum may impact professional stereotyping and collaborative behavior in care delivery teams comprised of a physician, a registered nurse, a physician’s assistant, a physical therapist, and a radiation therapist. As part of the agent-based modeling simulation, 500 students completed a curriculum with no IPE component and another 500 completed the same curriculum in which 25% of the courses being offered had IPE components embedded. The 500 students completing the non-IPE curriculum were asked to randomly form 100 health care delivery teams consisting of a member from each of the five professions examined in the study (i.e., MD, RN, PA, PT, and RT). The same was asked of the 500 students completing the IPE curriculum. The 100 teams in each group (constituting a total of 200 teams) were then asked to treat a patient over the course of a week. Findings indicate that the tendency for stereotyping was significantly lower (p<.001) for students attending curriculum containing IPE components, as compared to students attending curriculum without an IPE component. The individual and team mean scores for collaborative behavior – as represented by the number of links formed between team members throughout the seven-day period, during which the teams provided care to their patients - were significantly higher (p<.001).

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International Journal of Higher Education
ISSN 1927-6044 (Print) ISSN 1927-6052 (Online) Email:

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