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Year : 2007  |  Volume : 20  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 24

Book Reviews

Book and electronic media review editor, Education for Health

Date of Web Publication25-Jan-2013

Correspondence Address:
J A Gravdal
1775 Dempster St., IL 60068, Park Ridge

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

How to cite this article:
Gravdal J A. Book Reviews. Educ Health 2007;20:24

How to cite this URL:
Gravdal J A. Book Reviews. Educ Health [serial online] 2007 [cited 2021 Feb 26];20:24. Available from:

Series: Promoting Partnership for Health

The following are reviews on 3 books that are part of a series entitled Promoting Partnership for Health. The series emanates from the UK Centre for the Advancement of Interprofessional Education (CAIPE) and explores partnership for health from policy, practice and educational perspectives. Whilst strongly advocating the imperative for collaboration in healthcare, the series adopts a pragmatic approach.

Book 1: The Case for Interprofessional Collaboration in Health and Social Care

Geoffrey Meads, John Ashcroft, Hugh Barr, Rosalind Scott & Andrea Wild

Blackwell Publishing Ltd., Oxford, UK (2005)

165 pp., ISBN 1-4051-1103-8

This readable short book is the first in a series from Blackwell Publishing that discusses the need for effective and expanding partnerships which can promote and sustain health in its broadest understanding. Central to this volume is the need for professional collaboration, not only between peers, but also with other professions, new partners, policy agents, the public, and patients and their proxies. The work itself has been produced by a collaborative team whose background in organizational and interprofessional education informs a well-documented effort grounded in research. All have had some association with the UK Centre for the Advancement of Interprofessional Education.

The authors target an audience of health and social care professionals who are "in the early stages of their careers," as well as managers and teachers. In clear language, chapters logically lay out a description of what interprofessional collaboration can be-and why it is increasingly vital that such collaboration be intentional and expanded. The authors base their writings on extensive research conducted not only in the United Kingdom but also around the world, seeking to provide a global perspective on efforts already underway in quite different settings.

The writers advance an argument that to be professional IS to be interprofessional. The need for interprofessional cooperation is made by logical arguments from data and experience, and is punctuated by a chapter describing the tragic consequences when such collaboration is lacking, taken from specific incidents in the UK.

The book utilizes a repetitive analytic construct in each chapter, taking the reader from an understanding of what collaboration is to see more clearly where it might lead. This uniform chapter design adds to the readability of the volume, and helps tie together input from the collaborative team of writers. For the purpose of clarifying their argument, the authors particularly focus on the subject of modernization as it relates to health. This is a subject interesting in its own right, but serves well to demonstrate the research base of the treatise as well as the international need for collaboration.

It seemed only fitting that I had the opportunity to first read this book while en route from the United States to a meeting of West African physicians. As I struggled with the uncertainty of a shifting itinerary and the inconveniences of traveling in a region not yet known for tourism or predictability, I wondered whether in the end my trip to chiefly connect with African colleagues would be worth the aggravation. This book actually spoke to my personal question-of course! Interprofessional collaboration will not be easy, but it will be fruitful beyond those within the collaboration.

As a family physician, I at first questioned why I would want to read this book. But as a family physician involved in residency education, and as a health professional interested in health care reform in the United States, this work was quite useful. As noted by the authors, there is more to collaboration than "just getting along"-and there is a developing science that documents why collaboration is critical and explains how it might be taught. This volume would be most useful to health and social care educators and health policy planners. Many clinicians would probably not take the time to read a book with this particular theoretical and research focus-although clinicians and planners equally need to hear its message and act on it personally. As I finished reading the last chapter, I found myself asking, "How can I make involvement in health care activities more collaborative? How can I teach young physicians in training about the need for collaboration?" I suspect this was exactly what the authors desired.

Reviewed by:

Greg Kirschner MD, MPH, FAAFP, FWACP

Associate Director, Advocate Lutheran General Hospital Family Medicine Residency Park Ridge, IL, USA

Book 2: Effective Interprofessional Education: Development, Delivery and Evaluation

Della Freeth, Marilyn Hammick, Scott Reeves, Ivan Koppel & Hugh Barr

Blackwell Publishing Ltd., Oxford, UK (2005)

206 pp., ISBN-13: 978-14051-1653-4

The major objective of the book "Effective Interprofessional Education" is to discuss and illustrate the development, delivery and evaluation of effective interprofessional education in both the healthcare and social service arenas. This book is written by authors who are well-respected in interprofessional education, including Hugh Barr from Britain. Although the authors state that they intend to reach a diverse audience that includes teachers, practitioners, administrators and funders, the book is probably best targeted for health professions educators whether in the academic or community setting.

The book is divided into three sections with multiple chapters in each section. Section I includes a discussion of the fundamentals of interprofessional education and a definition of "effectiveness". Section II focuses on the development and delivery of interprofessional education, while Section II concentrates on evaluation. Throughout the book there are practical real world examples and case studies from a variety of healthcare and social service settings. Although the authors are from Britain, they have attempted to use case studies from other parts of the world. The authors' treatment of the subject matter is comprehensive. The multiple case studies are useful for illustrating the content of the text. The information is up-to-date with references to current peer-reviewed literature and important textbooks on interprofessional education. In the Foreword of the book, John Gilbert from Canada characterizes the book as a "workbook" for anyone involved in collaborative learning. Section III on evaluation will be particularly helpful for educators and practitioners who wish to evaluate their interprofessional educational initiatives. The section on evaluation also includes a brief discussion of the issues associated with measurement reliability and validity.
"Effective Interprofessional Education" is well written and easy to read. The organization of the book into three sections helps the reader navigate through the content. The information is logically presented, beginning with the definition of interprofessional education, followed by a discussion of the development and delivery of interprofessional education and ending with the important topic of evaluation. Although there are multiple contributors, the book reads in a very coherent manner.

If educators, administrators or practitioners are looking for a "how-to" practical book, this will serve their purpose. It will aid healthcare and social service professionals in the development, delivery and evaluation of interprofessional educational strategies.

Reviewed by:

Wendy Rheault, PT, PhD

Dean, College of Health Professions

Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science

Book 3: Effective Interprofessional Education: Argument, Assumption & Evidence

Hugh Barr, Ivan Koppel, Scott Reeves, Marilyn Hammick & Della Freeth

Publisher: Blackwell Publishing Ltd., Oxford, U.K. (2005)

180 pp., ISBN: 1-4051-1654-4

Effective Interprofessional Education (Argument, Assumption, & Evidence) is the kind of text for which educators in the field of interprofessional education have been waiting. This text, which is the second in a three set series, helps to define the field of interprofessional education by systematically looking at the values, theory, and evidence that provide the underpinnings for this movement. In doing so, the authors promote a strong case for collaborative practice.

The authors clearly target readers who are interested in interprofessional education or practice with a core focus on the health care field. The authors are most familiar with interprofessional education from the perspective of how it is practiced in the United Kingdom, but have done a noteworthy job of reviewing the literature and practices from countries around the world. The data discussed in this text are predominantly taken from the U.S. and several European countries.

The text provides an excellent resource for educators and practitioners who are thinking about developing opportunities for interprofessional education or practice. It also provides sound evidence based discussions for those educators already engaged in interprofessional education who want to improve the learning experiences and practice environment within their institution or organization.

The book is composed of ten chapters that range from understanding theoretical approaches to reviewing the evidence regarding the outcomes of studies in the interprofessional domain. The text takes on defining questions in the field of interprofessional education, such as: does interprofessional education improve interprofessional collaboration; and does interprofessional education/practice improve the quality of care patients/clients receive?

The authors comment that communication among different professionals can often be a challenge to interprofessional collaboration. To facilitate appropriate communication, a very helpful glossary of common terms and concepts used in interprofessional education is included. It seems only fitting that a work of this nature sets out a goal to get readers and learners from different professions to speak the same language when it comes to interprofessional education.

One of the most important contributions this text offers to the field is a systematic review, which the authors engaged in when researching the interprofessional education literature. The authors have been transparent and forthcoming in their methods while also including the limitations of their efforts. The summary of their systematic review in the Joint Evaluation Team Classification of interprofessional education outcomes format is incredibly helpful and intuitive. This alone is a must have for any educator who is interested in talking about the supportive evidence to the cause of interprofessional education and practice.

A real jewel of this text is the case studies the authors frequently provide of educators and practitioners who have put interprofessional education and collaboration into practice. One whole chapter is devoted to specific examples in the fields of ageing populations, children and young people, the changing family structure, poverty, and migration. Other examples are used throughout the entire text. These examples offer a brief glimpse into what is currently being done, and what can be done when time, energy and creativity are applied to interprofessional endeavors.

The authors also describe three domains of focus for interprofessional education: 1) preparation for collaboration, 2) cultivating collaboration in groups or teams, and 3) improving services and the quality of care. A thorough discussion includes the recognition that these areas have overlap and interconnect with one another. The authors conclude that the challenges are so numerous that no one interprofessional education program can address all of them.

At one point however the authors could have been clearer by providing a clear definition of pre and post qualification terminology, which is a key concept to their definition of the six interprofessional educational domains. Readers who are not familiar with the British system of training might struggle somewhat with this section.

One additional potentially conflicting concept in the text comes from the authors' statements concerning collaboration and Egalitarian learning. In one section of the text it is stated "students are ill served when teachers propound idealized notions of text teamwork at variance with everyday realities of working life" (p. 5). In a later section of the text, regarding the formulation of principles for interprofessional learning, the authors suggest that egalitarian learning is important. They further describe Egalitarian learning as making "every effort … to set aside differences between professions in income, social class, educational background and public esteem; so that participants may learn as equals" (p. 32). These two statements seem to be at odds with each other and further explanation of how to reconcile these two ideas would have been enlightening.

The text performs a wonderful job in describing the theoretical underpinnings that underlie many of the published interprofessional education endeavors. The authors tie this information to the specific foci that they describe early in the text, making it easy to appreciate how a certain theoretical framework may help educators and practitioners to achieve a particular focus that they have in mind.

Lastly, the authors try to identify some common values and codes of practice that are seen in interprofessional education. This has been done as an attempt to identify various stakeholders and agendas that need to be considered and suggest a common set of values that ideally most stakeholders in the field would agree upon.

Overall, this is an extremely well organized, thorough, evidence based discourse on issues surrounding interprofessional education. The authors describe the theoretical underpinnings, discuss the myriad of values, and make intuitive sense out of a field which is incredibly vast and complicated.

Reviewed by:

John Tomkowiak MD

Director of Interprofessional Clinical Education and Simulation

Associate Dean for Curriculum

Chicago Medical School

Rosalind Franklin University


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