Andrew Knight

Date of Award

January 2013

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Foundations & Research

First Advisor

Steven LeMire


The purposes of study #1 were to assess the reliability of the Readiness for Interprofessional Learning Scale (RIPLS-2010, Parsell & Bligh, 1999) instrument that was used in an Interprofessional Health Care (IPHC) course at University of North Dakota from 2010-2012 and compare students by discipline. The IPHC course curriculum team includes the director of Interprofessional Education, a course coordinator, and one faculty representative from medicine, nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, social work, music therapy, communication science and disorders, and nutrition/dietetics. The purposes of study #2 included an analysis of the reliability of a different version of the RIPLS (called RIPLS-2013) and an exploration of the effectiveness of the spring 2013 session 1 IPHC course using a pre and post design with a session of students (N = 66).

In Study #1, a factor analysis of data from 2010-2012 (N = 631) supported a relatively reliable two-factor model with a RIPLS that was revised from the original 1999 format by a course curriculum team. In addition, several significant differences existed among the eight professions on both factors. Mainly, medical students scored lower on the "teamwork" factor and higher on the "professional identity" factor than physical therapy, occupational therapy, and nutrition/dietetics students, mostly with moderate to high effect sizes. A lower score on "teamwork" means medical students were less interested in collaboration, and a higher score on "professional identity" means there was a sense that they had a better understanding of what would be expected of them as professionals.

In Study #2, factor analyses conducted on the pre and post RIPLS scores resulted in a four-factor model based on variance and eigenvalue data, but only two factors were reliable enough to conduct pre and post analyses which revealed no significant differences. Measures of internal consistency remained high for both factors, after eliminating four items from the two unused factors and reanalysis.

Recommendations from these studies made to the IPHC course curriculum team include making use of the original version of the RIPLS in a pre/post format and examining areas where the course curriculum may better address constructs that have been found by previous research that examined the RIPLS. These findings suggest the RIPLS-2010 and RIPLS-2013 to be inconsistent and suffering from non-normality in item data. It appears that while a positive result is that most students agree with the tenets of IPE, the course may not be able to improve this agreement because of a potential ceiling effect, rendering the instrument insensitive to more specific attitudes about IPHC.