Interprofessional Education & Patient Care: A Scoping Review

This page provides information related to the Scoping Review: Evaluating the evidence linking interprofessional education interventions to improving the delivery of safe and effective patient care: A scoping review.

In 2020, IPEC partnered with the Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries (AAHSL) to assist in developing a research protocol and undertaking an initial scoping review.

Project co-leads for this review are:

  • Judith S. Cohn, Assistant Vice President for Information Services and Director of Health Sciences Libraries Director, George F. Smith Library of the Health Sciences Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey; and 
  • Yingting Zhang, Research Services Librarian Library Faculty, Robert Wood Johnson Library of the Health Sciences Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.

In March 2020, IPEC issued a national open call for volunteer reviewers. Team members for this scoping review include:

  • Tamara Cadet, PhD, LICSW, MPH, University of Pennsylvania
  • Joseph Cusimano, PharmD, BCPP, Shenandoah University
  • Julie Honaker, PhD, CCC-A, Cleveland Clinic
  • Cynthia O’Neal, PhD, RN, University Of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
  • Reza Taheri, PharmD, MBA, Chapman University
  • Virginia Uhley, PhD, RDN, Oakland University

A special thank you to Jane Greene Ryan, PhD, CNM, RN, Drexel University, Erin Lepp, MMSc, PA-C, Mercer University, Peggy Dreker, MPA, MLS, Seton Hall University, for their contributions to this project.

Scoping Review Protocol

Evaluating the evidence linking interprofessional education interventions to improving the delivery of safe and effective patient care: A scoping review.

Objective of Scoping Review

The overall objective of this scoping review is to assess the impact of interprofessional education (IPE) on direct patient care.

This scoping review will look at the published literature linking IPE to direct improvement in quality of patient care and other health outcomes.

The question of this review is: Has the inclusion of interprofessional education in healthcare curriculums had a direct impact on quality of patient care?

Inclusion Criteria

  1. Language: English.
  2. Publication Dates: 2015-2020.
  3. Types of Articles:Qualitative, quantitative or mixed methods studies all acceptable
  4. Studies that include healthcare professionals, students or practitioners who have experienced interprofessional education or training.
  5. All types of interventions that target any type of health or social care professional will be included.
  6. The interprofessional intervention or collaboration must be between two or more collaborators
  7. The interprofessional education exposure must have been included within coursework or other professional education
  8. Measures of direct patient outcomes include: length of stay, medication errors, medical errors, patient satisfaction scores, safe transition of care or care coordination, medication adherence, improved patient and caregiver education, improved hospice usage, decreased mortality, lower infection rates and reduced readmission rates.


A Scoping Review

  • Is not easier than a systematic review.
  • Is not faster than a systematic review and may actually take longer.
  • More citations to screen.
  • Different screening criteria/process than a systematic review.
  • Often leads to a broader, less defined search.
  • Requires multiple structured searches instead of one.
  • Increased emphasis for hand searching the literature.
  • May require larger teams because of larger volume of literature.
  • Inconsistency in the conduct of scoping reviews.

Why a Scoping Review?

Indicators for conducting a scoping review:
  • To identify the types of available evidence in a given field
  • To clarify key concepts/ definitions in the literature
  • To examine how research is conducted on a certain topic or field
  • To identify key characteristics or factors related to a concept
  • As a precursor to a systematic review
  • To identify and analyse knowledge gaps

Munn, Z., Peters, M.D.J., Stern, C. et al. Systematic review or scoping review? Guidance for authors when choosing between a systematic or scoping review approach. BMC Med Res Methodol 18, 143 (2018).

What is a Scoping Review?

Peters MDJ, Godfrey C, McInerney P, Baldini Soares C, Khalil H, Parker D. Chapter 11: Scoping Reviews. In: Aromataris E, Munn Z (Editors). Joanna Briggs Institute Reviewer's Manual. The Joanna Briggs Institute, 2017. Available from