Exploring interprofessional collaboration and attitudes of health sciences librarians

Rachel J. Hinrichs, Caitlin J. Bakker, Tara J. Brigham, Emily C. Ginier, Gregg A. Stevens, Kristine M. Alpi


Objective: This study assessed health sciences librarians’ attitudes toward interprofessional collaboration using the Interdisciplinary Education Perception Scale (IEPS) and gathered information on their involvement with interprofessional activities.

Methods: The authors sent a survey to librarians in the Medical Library Association’s (MLA’s) Interprofessional Education Special Interest Group and Research Section consisting of the IEPS and questions about their prior and current experiences with interprofessional practice and education (IPE). We compared mean IEPS scores between each MLA group and several other demographic factors to assess differences in attitudes. We also compared librarians’ IEPS scores with those of previously published health professional students’ IEPS scores and thematically analyzed two open-ended questions.

Results: Health sciences librarians’ scores on the IEPS indicated positive attitudes toward IPE. There were no statistically significant differences between any group. Health sciences librarians’ mean IEPS score was similar to the mean score of health professions students from a prior study. The most commonly reported interprofessional activity was teaching or facilitating learning activities for health professions students; fewer served on committees or engaged in non-curricular activities such as grand rounds and book clubs.

Conclusion: Health sciences librarians in this study reported positive attitudes toward IPE, in line with the majority of other previously studied health professionals. 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 toward IPE, regardless of whether they directly support IPE programs or participate in interprofessional activities.

 This article has been approved for the Medical Library Association’s Independent Reading Program.


Interprofessional Education; Interprofessional Collaboration; Health Sciences Librarians; Attitudes and Perceptions; Survey

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/jmla.2020.804


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