Interprofessional Education on Diabetes Management

Sanna Kangas

    Research output: Book/ReportDoctoral thesisCollection of Articles


    A qualified care of a complex, chronic disease like diabetes is best provided by competent and collaboratively skilful healthcare professionals. Interprofessional education (IPE), where two or more professions learn together and from each other, is seen important in providing patient-centred, high-quality care, and in strengthening the learners’ collaborative competences. The aims of this study were to evaluate the outcomes of diabetes-specific IPE in view of previous literature and explore the impact of a pilot IPE course on nursing and medical students’ current and desired diabetes competence, and perceptions of interprofessional collaborative diabetes care.

    Firstly, a systematic integrative review was conducted to synthesize current knowledge of diabetes-specific IPE implemented for professionals or students. Secondly, empirical data were collected from a diabetes-specific IPE pilot course for 15 medical and 15 nursing students. The course included, e.g., interactive lectures of interprofessional experts in five seminars, group discussions, and clinical visits, and aimed to provide knowledge and skills to perform interprofessional collaborative diabetes care. The participating students performed a diabetes knowledge test and a web-based self-evaluation of 13 diabetes competence areas before and after the course and were compared to non-participating control students by using non- parametric statistical methods. Data from the participating students’ focus group interviews before and after the course were analysed using inductive content analysis. Finally, these results were interpreted in the summarizing report of this study, following the principles of mixed methods research.

    The integrative systematic review of previous literature indicated that diabetes- specific IPE results in positive outcomes regarding the learners’ teamwork competency, and knowledge, skills, confidence, and motivation in treating patients with diabetes. IPE was useful to professionals’ work and, to some extent, to the persons with diabetes. Various strengths and challenges were identified, such as the need of resources and competing interests.

    The diabetes-specific IPE pilot course improved the students’ self-evaluated competence in delivering interprofessional diabetes care and the nursing students’ in-depth diabetes knowledge. The baseline difference between the nursing and medical students’ self-evaluated competence disappeared during the course. The control students evaluated their competence higher than the course participants, although they scored lower (nursing control students) or similarly (medical control students) in the diabetes knowledge test. The course increased the participating students’ interest in specific areas of diabetes care, like Social Welfare & Legislation for the medical, and Individual Patient Guidance for the nursing students. The participating students’ understanding changed towards a more patient-centred and holistic perspective. Their awareness of themselves as professionals deepened, and they perceived to gain a better understanding of other health professionals’ roles, competencies, and different approaches to care. The course strengthened the students’ realistic understanding of their competence level, motivation to learn more and intent to use their competence in patient care.

    In conclusion, diabetes-specific IPE was found to enhance the learners’ competence and motivation to perform patient-centred, interprofessional collaborative diabetes care. It deepened the learners’ professional awareness of themselves and their competence level, offering a good starting point for interprofessional collaboration in patient care. The quantitative and qualitative findings of this study strengthened each other, and the mixed methods design was considered valuable in achieving a deep understanding of the outcomes of IPE. These results can be utilized in the development of healthcare education. In the future, more profound development and research of long-term IPE programmes integrated more closely into the clinical context, is recommended.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationTampere
    ISBN (Electronic)978-952-03-2379-0
    Publication statusPublished - 2022
    Publication typeG5 Doctoral dissertation (articles)

    Publication series

    NameTampere University Dissertations - Tampereen yliopiston väitöskirjat
    ISSN (Print)2489-9860
    ISSN (Electronic)2490-0028


    Dive into the research topics of 'Interprofessional Education on Diabetes Management'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this