A critical appraisal of instruments to measure outcomes of interprofessional education Academic Article uri icon


  • Interprofessional education (IPE) is believed to prepare health professional graduates for successful collaborative practice. A range of instruments have been developed to measure the outcomes of IPE. An understanding of the psychometric properties of these instruments is important if they are to be used to measure the effectiveness of IPE.This review set out to identify instruments available to measure outcomes of IPE and collaborative practice in pre-qualification health professional students and to critically appraise the psychometric properties of validity, responsiveness and reliability against contemporary standards for instrument design.Instruments were selected from a pool of extant instruments and subjected to critical appraisal to determine whether they satisfied inclusion criteria. The qualitative and psychometric attributes of the included instruments were appraised using a checklist developed for this review.Nine instruments were critically appraised, including the widely adopted Readiness for Interprofessional Learning Scale (RIPLS) and the Interdisciplinary Education Perception Scale (IEPS). Validity evidence for instruments was predominantly based on test content and internal structure. Ceiling effects and lack of scale width contribute to the inability of some instruments to detect change in variables of interest. Limited reliability data were reported for two instruments. Scale development and scoring protocols were generally reported by instrument developers, but the inconsistent application of scoring protocols for some instruments was apparent.A number of instruments have been developed to measure outcomes of IPE in pre-qualification health professional students. Based on reported validity evidence and reliability data, the psychometric integrity of these instruments is limited. The theoretical test construction paradigm on which instruments have been developed may be contributing to the failure of some instruments to detect change in variables of interest following an IPE intervention. These limitations should be considered in any future research on instrument design.

publication date

  • 2015