Paper: Research Abstract
Health Sciences Librarians’ Perceptions of Interprofessional Education and Collaboration
Sunday, May 5
2:05 PM - 2:20 PM
Room: Columbus EF (East Tower, Ballroom/Gold Level)
Assistant Professor of Medical Education & Medical Librarian
Caitlin Bakker, AHIP
Research Services Liaison Librarian
University of Minnesota
Amy Lyons, AHIP
Associate Librarian, Liaison to the School of Nursing
SUNY at Buffalo, Health Sciences Library
Buffalo, New York
Librarians have a unique perspective on the value of working with other health professions. We sought to learn more about health sciences librarians' experiences with interprofessional activities and to assess their perceptions of interprofessional education (IPE) using a standard measure, the Interprofessional Education Perception Scale (IEPS).
We used a cross-sectional survey design to assess librarians’ perceptions toward IPE, and to gather information on librarian participation in interprofessional activities. The survey consisted of a demographics section; the IEPS, an instrument developed to assess perceived attitudes about interdisciplinary collaboration for one’s own profession; and questions about the librarian’s prior and current experiences with IPE. It was sent via email lists to the MLA Interprofessional Education Special Interest Group (IPE-SIG), and the Research Section (RS), as a comparison group. After overlap between groups was addressed, mean IEPS scores between populations were compared to explore differences in attitudes and perceptions. Other variables of interest included years of experience as a librarian, previous career as a health professional, and experience teaching or supporting interprofessional education. We also compared librarians’ IEPS scores with those of health professional students published previously (Hawk, 2002).
Librarians’ scores on the IEPS indicated highly positive perceptions towards IPE. There were no statistically significant differences between the IPE-SIG and RS groups (p=0.59), years of experience as a librarian (p=0.82), previous career as a health professional (p=0.91), or experience supporting IPE (p=0.16). Librarians’ mean IEPS score (262.9) was slightly less than the mean score of all health profession students (265.9) published previously (Hawk, 2002), but was not statistically significant (p=0.43). Themes identified from two open-ended questions included librarian involvement in teaching and facilitating required learning activities for health professions students, committee involvement, and non-curricular activities such as Grand Rounds and book clubs. Five respondents addressed impact of their activities. Less frequent themes included perceiving respect for librarians as part of IPE, feeling undervalued, and desiring more involvement.
This study provides the first data for the IEPS with health sciences librarians. Health sciences librarians have highly positive attitudes towards IPE, in line with the majority of other health professionals studied previously. Years of experience, previous health professional careers, and experience supporting IPE as a librarian had little bearing on the responses to the survey. This suggests that health sciences librarians have positive attitudes towards IPE, regardless of whether they directly support IPE programs.