Evaluation of an interprofessional education intervention in partnership with patient educators: Interprofessional Education with Patients

Evaluation of an interprofessional education intervention in partnership with patient educators

Interprofessional Education with Patients


  • Paola Ferri Department of Biomedical, Metabolic and Neural Sciences, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7761-7226
  • Chiara Vivarelli Department of Translational Medicine, University of Ferrara
  • Fausta Lui Department of Biomedical, Metabolic and Neural Sciences, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia
  • Sara Alberti University of Modena and Reggio Emilia https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3732-6309
  • Sergio Rovesti Department of Biomedical, Metabolic and Neural Sciences, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia
  • Alice Serafini EduCare Lab, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Modena
  • Rosaria Di Lorenzo Department of Mental Health and Drug Abuse, AUSL of Modena https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9497-6837
  • Gabriele Amati Rheumatology Unit, University Hospital of Modena; Department of Surgical, Medical, Dental and Morphological Sciences with Interest transplant, Oncological and Regenerative Medicine, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia
  • Maria Stella Padula EduCare Lab, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Modena


Patient Involvement, Patient Educator, InInterprofessional Education, Empathy, Nursing students, Undergraduate Health Sciences Students, Person-Centred Care


Background and aim: Patient involvement in interprofessional education is a novel approach to building collaborative and empathic skills in students. However, this area of teaching is lacking in rigorous studies. The project aimed to evaluate whether an interprofessional education intervention in partnership with patient educators (IPE-PE) would increase readiness for interprofessional learning and empathy in health sciences students.

Methods: This is the report of a didactic innovation project. Participants included 310 undergraduate health sciences students who took part in an IPE-PE intervention. Data were collected before and after the training, using the Readiness for Interprofessional Learning Scale (RIPLS) and the Jefferson Scale of Empathy-Health Professions Student version (JSE-HPS). Only at the end of the intervention, a data collection form was administered to explore the value of the patient educator in the training and to investigate the socio-demographic variables.

Results: The mean age of participants was 21±3.2 SD years and 76% were female. A paired t-test showed significant changes from before to after the IPE-PE in the mean total RIPLS score (42.7±5.8 SD vs 44.62±5.9 SD, P<0.001) and the mean total JSE-HPS score (112.7±12.5 SD vs 116.03±12.8 SD, P<0.001).           

Conclusions: Our students reported that IPE-PE had helped them to become more effective healthcare team members, to think positively about other professionals, and to gain empathic understanding of the perspective of the person being cared for. The results of the project confirm that the intervention promoted the development of empathy, fostering a better understanding of the patient-centred perspective.


Valentijn PP, Schepman SM, Opheij W, Bruijnzeels MA. Understanding integrated care: a comprehensive conceptual framework based on the integrative functions of primary care. Int J Integr Care. 2013;13:e010. doi: 10.5334/ijic.886.

Santana MJ, Manalili K, Jolley RJ, Zelinsky S, Quan H, Lu M. How to practice person-centred care: A conceptual framework. Health Expect. 2018;21(2):429-40. doi: 10.1111/hex.12640.

Romme S, Bosveld MH, Van Bokhoven MA, De Nooijer J, Van den Besselaar H, Van Dongen JJJ. Patient involvement in interprofessional education: A qualitative study yielding recommendations on incorporating the patient's perspective. Health Expect. 2020;23(4):943-57. doi: 10.1111/hex.13073.

Au S. The outcomes of interprofessional education in prelicensure nursing education: An integrative review. Nurse Educ Today. 2023;121:105703. doi: 10.1016/j.nedt.2022.105703.

World Health Organization; Health Professions Networks Nursing & Midwifery Human Resources for Health. Framework for Action on Interprofessional Education & Collaborative Practice (WHO/HRH/HPN/10.3). 2010. This publication is available on the Internet at: http://www.who.int/hrh/nursing_midwifery/en/

Paradis E, Whitehead CR. Louder than words: power and conflict in interprofessional education articles, 1954-2013. Med Educ. 2015;49(4):399-407. doi: 10.1111/medu.12668.

Ganotice FA Jr, Chan SSC, Chow AYM, et al. What factors facilitate interprofessional collaboration outcomes in interprofessional education? A multi-level perspective. Nurse Educ Today. 2022;114:105393. doi: 10.1016/j.nedt.2022.105393.

Gilbert JH. Interprofessional - education, learning, practice and care. J Interprof Care. 2013;27(4):283-5. doi: 10.3109/13561820.2012.755807.

Reeves S, Perrier L, Goldman J, Freeth D, Zwarenstein M. Interprofessional education: effects on professional practice and healthcare outcomes (update). Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013;2013(3):CD002213. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD002213.

Fox L, Onders R, Hermansen-Kobulnicky CJ, et al. Teaching interprofessional teamwork skills to health professional students: A scoping review. J Interprof Care. 2018;32(2):127-35. doi: 10.1080/13561820.2017.1399868.

McMillan SS, Kendall E, Sav A, et al. Patient-centered approaches to health care: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials. Med Care Res Rev. 2013;70(6):567-96. doi: 10.1177/1077558713496318.

Cooper H, Spencer-Dawe E. Involving service users in interprofessional education narrowing the gap between theory and practice. J Interprof Care. 2006;20(6):603-17. doi: 10.1080/13561820601029767.

Repper J, Breeze J. User and carer involvement in the training and education of health professionals: a review of the literature. Int J Nurs Stud. 2007;44(3):511-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2006.05.013.

Sy MP, Panotes A, Cho D, Pineda RC, Martin P. A Rapid Review of the Factors That Influence Service User Involvement in Interprofessional Education, Practice, and Research. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022;19(24):16826. doi: 10.3390/ijerph192416826.

Zaleski KL, Araque JC, Finney K, et al. Empathy in Social Work Education. Contemp Behav Health Care. 2016;2(1): 48-53. doi: 10.15761/CBHC.1000113.

Fenn N, Reyes C, Mushkat Z, Vinacco K, Jackson H, Al Sanea A, Robbins ML, Hulme J, Dupre AM. Empathy, better patient care, and how interprofessional education can help. J Interprof Care. 2022;36(5):660-669. doi: 10.1080/13561820.2021.1951187.

Moudatsou M, Stavropoulou A, Philalithis A, Koukouli S. The Role of Empathy in Health and Social Care Professionals. Healthcare (Basel). 2020;8(1):26. doi: 10.3390/healthcare8010026.

Papageorgiou A, Miles S, Fromage M. Does medical students' empathy change during their 5-year MBBS degree? Educ Health (Abingdon). 2018;31(3):142-7. doi: 10.4103/efh.EfH_279_17.

Iqbal MZ, AlBuraikan AR, AlQarni AA, AlQahtani HA, AlOhail AM, AlMusaileem MM. Measuring empathy in medical students: A cross-sectional study. J Pak Med Assoc. 2022;72(6):1101-5. doi: 10.47391/JPMA.3226.

Ferri P, Rovesti S, Panzera N, Marcheselli L, Bari A, Di Lorenzo R. Empathic attitudes among nursing students: a preliminary study. Acta Biomed. 2017;88(3S):22-30. doi: 10.23750/abm.v88i3-S.6610.

Ferri P, Rovesti S, Bonetti L, Stifani S, Panzera N, Di Lorenzo R. Evaluation of empathy among undergraduate nursing students: a three-year longitudinal study. Acta Biomed. 2019;90(11-S):98-107. doi: 10.23750/abm.v90i11-S.8874.

Bas-Sarmiento P, Fernández-Gutiérrez M, Díaz-Rodríguez M; iCARE Team. Teaching empathy to nursing students: A randomised controlled trial. Nurse Educ Today. 2019;80:40-51. doi: 10.1016/j.nedt.2019.06.002.

Di Lorenzo R, Venturelli G, Spiga G, Ferri P. Emotional intelligence, empathy and alexithymia: a cross-sectional survey on emotional competence in a group of nursing students. Acta Biomed. 2019;90(4-S):32-43. doi: 10.23750/abm.v90i4-S.8273.

Ferri P, Rovesti S, Padula MS, D'Amico R, Di Lorenzo R. Effect of expert-patient teaching on empathy in nursing students: a randomized controlled trial. Psychol Res Behav Manag. 2019;12:457-67. doi: 10.2147/PRBM.S208427.

Sur D. Interprofessional Intentional Empathy Centered Care (IP-IECC) in healthcare practice: A grounded theory study. J Interprof Care. 2021;35(2):175-84. doi: 10.1080/13561820.2020.1752162.

Parsell G, Bligh J. The development of a questionnaire to assess the readiness of health care students for interprofessional learning (RIPLS). Med Educ. 1999;33(2):95-100. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2923.1999.00298.x.

Sollami A, Caricati L, Mancini T. Attitudes towards interprofessional education among medical and nursing students: the role of professional identification and intergroup contact. Curr. Psychol. 2018;37(4):905-12.

Hojat M. Empathy in Patient Care: Antecedents, Development, Measurement, and Outcomes. New York: Springer; 2016.

Montanari P, Petrucci C, Russo S, Murray I, Dimonte V, Lancia L. Psychometric properties of the Jefferson Scale of Empathy-Health Professional Student's version: An Italian validation study with nursing students. Nurs Health Sci. 2015;17(4):483-91. doi: 10.1111/nhs.12221..

Burford B, Greig P, Kelleher M, et al. Effects of a single interprofessional simulation session on medical and nursing students' attitudes toward interprofessional learning and professional identity: a questionnaire study. BMC Med Educ. 2020;20(1):65. doi: 10.1186/s12909-020-1971-6.

Reime MH, Aarflot M, Kvam FI. Does Interprofessional Scenario-Based Simulation Training Change Attitudes Towards Interprofessional Learning - A Pretest-Posttest Study. J Multidiscip Healthc. 2022;15:1527-32. doi: 10.2147/JMDH.S370100.

Ferri P, Rovesti S, Barbieri A, et al. Interprofessional high-fidelity simulation on nursing students’ collaborative attitudes: A quasi-experimental study using a mixed-methods approach. Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing. 2021;1236:99-110. doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-52287-2_10.

Ferri P, Rovesti S, Vivarelli C, et al. The Collaboration Among Pediatric Residents, Nursing and Midwifery Students for Newborn Health: A Quasi-experimental Study on Interprofessional High-Fidelity Patient Simulation. Lecture Notes in Networks and Systems. 2022;326:197-209. doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-86618-1_20.

Teodorczuk A, Khoo TK, Morrissey S, Rogers G. Developing interprofessional education: putting theory into practice. The Clinical Teacher. 2016;13:7-12. doi: 10.1111/tct.12508.

McKinlay E, Brown M, Wallace D, Morris C, Garnett A, Gray B. A match made in heaven: Exploring views of medicine students, pharmacy interns and facilitators in an interprofessional medicines pilot study. The Internet Journal of Allied Health Sciences and Practice.2021;19:3. https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/46ad/a2f387fd2f855865694e47bedba1feeab10c.pdf.

Bosveld MH, Romme S, de Nooijer J, Smeets HWH, van Dongen JJJ, van Bokhoven MA. Seeing the patient as a person in interprofessional health professions education. J Interprof Care. 2023;37(3):457-63. doi: 10.1080/13561820.2022.2093843.







How to Cite

Evaluation of an interprofessional education intervention in partnership with patient educators: Interprofessional Education with Patients. Acta Biomed [Internet]. 2023 Oct. 17 [cited 2024 Jun. 16];94(5):e2023250. Available from: https://mattioli1885journals.com/index.php/actabiomedica/article/view/14825

Most read articles by the same author(s)

1 2 3 > >>