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Rationale: An inter-professional education (IPE) masterclass symposium titled, ‘The journey to team-based healthcare’, was jointly hosted by the School of Pharmacy, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI), the Irish Institute of Pharmacy and the Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy in East Tennessee State University in May 2017. The masterclass provided a comprehensive overview of IPE initiatives based on the extensive experience of senior academics from the host institutions, which included staff from pharmacy, nursing and medicine. The masterclass was attended by healthcare professionals, policy makers and educationalists working in Ireland. As part of the symposium, focus groups were conducted with a sample of symposium attendees to determine their opinions and perceptions, as key stakeholders, regarding the development, implementation and future direction of IPE in Ireland.

Methods: Focus groups were conducted with symposium attendees using a topic guide that was developed based on previous literature. Questions explored participants’ views and experiences on a range of topics including development and implementation of IPE activities, and key priorities for developing future IPE initiatives. Thematic analysis was conducted to identify key themes.

Findings: Three focus groups were conducted each involving five to six participants (total 16 participants: nine female). Preliminary themes have been identified and further analysis is ongoing.

Discussion/conclusion: The research findings will help to inform the future development and direction of IPE initiatives at both undergraduate and postgraduate level within the host institutions and could help in the development of an IPE strategy for undergraduate and post-graduate teaching across Ireland.


Cork, Ireland