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Japanese students' perception of their learning from an interprofessional education program: a qualitative study

Takami Maeno1, Ayumi Takayashiki1, Tokie Anme2, Eriko Tohno3, Tetsuhiro Maeno1 and Akira Hara1

1School of Medicine, School of Medicine and Medical Sciences, University of Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan

2School of Nursing, School of Medicine and Medical Sciences, University of Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan

3Total Health Evaluation Center Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan

Submitted: 13/09/2012; Accepted: 03/01/2013; Published: 17/01/2013

Int J Med Educ. 2013; 4:9-17; doi: 10.5116/ijme.50e5.e29a

© 2013 Takami Maeno et al. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use of work provided the original work is properly cited. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

Objectives: The aim of this study was to explore students' perception of their learning from the interprofessional program implemented in Japan where the implementation and evaluation of interprofessional education is behind that of western countries.

Methods: We conducted a qualitative research of opinions of students who participated in the interprofessional program implemented in the University of Tsukuba. The participants were 105 medical, 65 nursing, and 35 medical science students. At the completion of the program, we asked that the participants write their opinion on what they gained by participating in the program. From their responses, significant descriptions were extracted, coded by content, and then grouped into subcategories. These subcatego-ries were then separated into main categories based on their emergent themes.

Results: The main categories identified were such as "understanding of medical professionals," "interprofessional work," "holistic care," "communication," "sharing," and "empowerment."

Conclusions: The categories extracted in our study, for the most part, matched previous studies, suggesting that the program helped students enhance their understanding of interprofessional work. Although the Japanese health care system and medical education system are different from those of western countries, this suggests that the benefits of interprofessional education in Japan will be similar to those of western countries.