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Using a meta-ethnographic approach to explore the role of interprofessional education in inclusion health for health and care staff

Zana Khan (South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK)
Sophie Park (Department of Primary Care and Population Health, UCL, London, UK)
Georgia Black (Wolfson Institute of Population Health, QMUL, London, UK)

Journal of Integrated Care

ISSN: 1476-9018

Article publication date: 20 June 2023

Issue publication date: 10 August 2023




This article aims to present a systematic review and synthesis of evidence on the experiences, role and use of IPE in IH fields by using a meta-ethnographic approach including key concepts, reciprocal and refutational translation and lines of argument. Inclusion health (IH) practice suggests that the needs of excluded groups are more effectively addressed through collaborative working. Interprofessional education (IPE) occurs when two or more professions engage in shared practice and learning, resulting in improved collaboration and quality of care. Studies on IPE to train staff in fields relating to IH exist, but without a settled consensus on the best approaches/activities to foster inclusive practice.


This synthesis is underpinned by a meta-ethnographic approach. It provides explicit stages of data collection and interpretation, while providing space to engage with emerging themes and concepts iteratively (reflecting on author experiences) and inductively (reasoning and interpretation). This study made use of electronic databases and journals for English language peer reviewed articles between 2000 and 2020. Of the 2217 articles, 19 papers were included. The lead author and reviewer completed the review process and a second reviewer reviewed 10% at each stage. The quality was assessed using a modified CASP checklist. Iterative analysis involved PPI and staff stakeholders.


A total of 16 concepts embedded in 19 papers provide insight into the nature of IPE in IH (IH) for staff. It was found that IPE in IH covers a broad group of practitioners and is a complex activity involving individual and organisation readiness, practical and pedagogical factors, influenced by setting, method, curriculum, lived experience, reflection and a learner-driven approach. Barriers to design, implementation and translation into practice were also found to exist.

Practical implications

Most studies used a combination of core learning and group work. Educational modes include mentoring or coaching, reflective practice, immersive learning and people lived experience of exclusion involved in or facilitation thematically centred in trauma-informed informed care, cultural competence, communities of practice and service learning. The aim of these methods was to promote collaboration through identifying shared experiences, problems and tensions and critical reflection of services and organisations. Such transformative learning is reported to challenge stigma, discrimination and misinformation and promote collective empowerment to address social injustice through human connection. Effective models of IPE re-instated the therapeutic relationship and alliances between patients and staff.

Social implications

This review also calls for the development of health and care workers’ professionalism in relation to their own reflexivity, establishing anti-racist curricula, challenge stigma and ensuring clinicians are aware of and able to negotiate tension and difference identified within the consultation and between themselves. Apart from developing generalist skills, this analysis suggests that IPE in IH may be able to challenge stigma and discrimination towards IH groups by destabilising existing norms and siloed working with the aim of achieving robust interprofessional practice.


IPE in IH is a complex activity affected by individual and organisation readiness, setting, experiential, practical and pedagogical factors. Models of teaching are focused on re-instating the therapeutic relationship. There are no systematic reviews in this field and previously there was no settled consensus on the best approaches and learning activities to foster inclusive and collaborative practice.



Dr Zana Khan would like to thank the NIHR for their generous funding of the GP in practice fellowship, the Pathway Experts by Experience for their invaluable role as Patient and Public Involvement, the Pathway Charity for supporting the fellowship and this research, the Stakeholder advisors including Samantha Dorney-Smith, Dr Oliver Starr and Dr Lucy Williams, and Professor Margaret Greenfields, Dr Caroline Shulman and Dr Briony Hudson for their continued advice and support through my research and clinical journeys.


Khan, Z., Park, S. and Black, G. (2023), "Using a meta-ethnographic approach to explore the role of interprofessional education in inclusion health for health and care staff", Journal of Integrated Care, Vol. 31 No. 3, pp. 182-211.



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