Nursing and physiotherapy students' perceptions of participating in Practice Based Peer Learning as a vehicle for developing interprofessional understanding

McLeod, F. (2012) Nursing and physiotherapy students' perceptions of participating in Practice Based Peer Learning as a vehicle for developing interprofessional understanding. Other, University of the West of England. Available from:

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Peer learning has been successfully introduced into professional education within the practice setting (Secomb 2008). This thesis provides a chronological narrative presentation of a qualitative case study that evaluated an interprofessional peer learning programme designed to consolidate communication skills and develop interprofessional understanding among physiotherapy and nursing students. The peer learning programme was implemented with two different groups of students over two four week periods when nursing and physiotherapy students overlapped during routine placements. It enabled students placed within the same hospital but in different clinical environments to work together in both a tutorial setting and on patient centred tasks. This included verbal peer review of interpersonal communication skills in both tutorial and practice settings. The theoretical framework for the research was provided by cooperative learning, with a conceptual framework provided by social interdependence theory. Ethical approval for the study was obtained from the University and NHS Research Ethics Committees. The peer learning programmes were implemented and evaluated between May and December 2007. Data collection included validated UWE Interprofessional Questionnaires before and after the programme, concurrent reflective diaries and semi-structured interviews following completion of the peer learning programme by students. Semi-structured interviews with clinicians involved in facilitating the programme along with RIPLS questionnaires were also gathered. The interviews and reflective diaries were analysed using an inductive thematic analysis (Coffey and Atkinson 1996), single case study sheets were used to summarise data and a cross case analysis matrix (Stake 2006) was adopted. Data analysis identified the focus on interpersonal and interprofessional communication skills was relevant for students at all levels; it complemented placement learning and enabled students to cooperate in practice and develop greater insight into each other’s role. Interprofessional peer observation and review within both tutorial and practice settings were found to be appropriate educational strategies. All agreed it was not threatening; it was valuable in gaining insight into another profession and for consolidating own professional knowledge. Students valued undertaking patient centred tasks together although an appropriate level of challenge and mentor support was required. The case study also discusses the use of the cooperative learning framework adopted to minimise known challenges associated with peer learning (Secomb 2008, Ladyshewsky 2000). A case is made for principles associated with cooperative learning to be more widely applied to practice

Item Type:Thesis (Other)
Additional Information:Supervisory Team: Professor Gaynor Attwood, Professor John Dwyfor Davies and Professor Margaret Miers. External Examiner: Professor Della Freeth
Uncontrolled Keywords:peer learning, interprofessional learning, cooperative learning, Social Interdependence Theory, peer review, communication skills, placement, practice, nursing, physiotherapy, pre-registration
Faculty/Department:Faculty of Arts, Creative Industries and Education > Department of Education and Childhood
ID Code:16613
Deposited By: F. Mcleod
Deposited On:03 Apr 2012 12:12
Last Modified:17 Feb 2017 06:30

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