Mandy, A., Milton, C. and Mandy, P.
Professional stereotyping and interprofessional education
Learning in Health and Social Care, 3 (3).
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Effective interprofessional working is considered to be essential for optimum healthcare delivery. Interprofessional rivalry, tribalism and stereotypes are known to exist within healthcare professions and detract from effective health delivery. Limited literature is available that reports undergraduate healthcare students' stereotypical perceptions of each other. Stereotypes in relation to interprofessional education are commonly explained through the Contact Hypothesis Theory, the Realistic Conflict Theory, or the Social Identity Theory. The aim of this study was to investigate undergraduate physiotherapy and podiatry students' stereotypes of each other's professions before and after a semester of interprofessional education. Stereotypes were measured using the Health Team Stereotype Scale. Results indicated that both professional groups had stereotypical perceptions of each other prior to any education, which were reinforced as a result of the education. The results support the Social Identity Theory, which explains intergroup discrimination and describes an interpersonalintergroup continuum. The timing of the interprofessional education may be critical to reducing such an effect.
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