Patient involvement in interprofessional education: A qualitative study yielding recommendations on incorporating the patient's perspective

Sjim Romme*, Matthijs H. Bosveld*, Marloes A. Van Bokhoven, Jascha De Nooijer, Helene Van den Besselaar, Jerome J. J. Van Dongen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background Patient involvement in interprofessional education (IPE) is a new approach in fostering person-centeredness and collaborative competencies in undergraduate students. We developed the Patient As a Person (PAP-)module to facilitate students in learning from experts by experience (EBEs) living with chronic conditions, in an interprofessional setting. This study aimed to explore the experiences of undergraduate students, EBEs and facilitators with the PAP-module and formulate recommendations on the design and organization of patient involvement in IPE.

Methods We collected data from students, EBEs and facilitators, through eight semi-structured focus group interviews and two individual interviews (N = 51). The interviews took place at Maastricht University, Zuyd University of Applied Sciences and Regional Training Center Leeuwenborgh. Conventional content analysis revealed key themes.

Results Students reported that learning from EBEs in an interprofessional setting yielded a more comprehensive approach and made them empathize with EBEs. Facilitators found it challenging to address multiple demands from students from different backgrounds and diverse EBEs. EBEs were motivated to improve the person-centredness of health care and welcomed a renewed sense of purpose.

Conclusions This study yielded six recommendations: (a) students from various disciplines visit an EBE to foster a comprehensive approach, (b) groups of at least two students visit EBEs, (c) students may need aftercare for which facilitators should be receptive, (d) EBEs need clear instruction on their roles, (e) multiple EBEs in one session create diversity in perspectives and (f) training programmes and peer-to-peer sessions for facilitators help them to interact with diverse students and EBEs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)943-957
Number of pages15
JournalHealth Expectations
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020


  • health professions education
  • interprofessional education
  • medical education
  • patient involvement
  • patient-centred care
  • person-centred care


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