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Designing and evaluating an interprofessional education conference approach to antimicrobial education

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Clare GuildingORCiD, Dr Elsa Randles, Charan Thandi, Dr Andrew Teodorczuk, Dr Jo Matthan



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Background Arguably, Medical School curricula are deficient in learning opportunities related to the safe and effective use of medicines, in particular antimicrobials. Infection management is complex and multidisciplinary, and learning opportunities should reflect these principles. Aligned to the complexity of the subject matter, simulation and interprofessional based teaching are methods that can foster the collaborative skills required of future healthcare professionals. There have been calls to develop these methods in the teaching of safe prescribing and the management of infections; however, reports of such studies are limited. Methods We developed an interprofessional education (IPE) conference for second year undergraduate medical and pharmacy students based in the North East of England. We considered contact theory in the design of three small group interprofessional workshops, on the broad themes of antimicrobial stewardship, infection management and patient safety. A mixed methods approach assessed students’ attitudes towards IPE, barriers and facilitators of learning, and perceived learning gains. Qualitative data from workshop evaluation forms were analysed thematically, while quantitative data were analysed descriptively and differences between medical and pharmacy cohorts analysed using unpaired two-tailed t-tests. Results 226/352 students returned the workshop evaluation forms (66% of pharmacy students, 62% of medical students). 281/352 students responded to a series of Likert scale questions on the value of interprofessional education (88% of pharmacy students, 70% of medical students). Students reported acquisition of knowledge and skills, including concepts and procedures related to infection management and antimicrobial prescribing, and the development of problem-solving and critical evaluation skills. Students reflected on their attitude towards interprofessional collaboration. They reported a greater understanding of the roles of other healthcare professionals, reflected on the importance of effective communication in ensuring patient safety, and were more confident to work in interprofessional teams after the conference. Conclusions A robust IPE event, theoretically underpinned by contact theory and developed collaboratively, achieved interprofessional learning at scale and helped develop healthcare professionals willing to collaborate across disciplines. The resources, and evaluation insights based on the 3P (presage, process, and product) model of learning and teaching, will be of value to other educators who seek to develop theoretically-sound IPE interventions.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Guilding C, Hardisty J, Randles E, Statham L, Green A, Bhudia R, Thandi CS, Teodorczuk A, Scott L, Matthan J

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: BMC Medical Education

Year: 2020

Volume: 20

Issue: 1

Online publication date: 13/10/2020

Acceptance date: 23/09/2020

Date deposited: 09/11/2020

ISSN (electronic): 1472-6920

Publisher: BioMed Central Ltd.


DOI: 10.1186/s12909-020-02252-9


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Funder referenceFunder name
Catherine Cookson Foundation
Faculty of Medical Sceinces Unit for Eductional Research, Development and Practice (ERDP), Newcastle University