Longitudinal Interprofessional Study

More information about this study

The Study

The Longitudinal Interprofessional (LIP) Study is a collaboration between the Eastern Institute of Technology, Otago Polytechnic, and the University of Otago. It is hosted by the Department of Primary Health Care and General Practice at the University of Otago, Wellington.

The LIP Study is exploring attitudes and skills related to collaborative health care practice in practitioners from the disciplines of Dentistry, Dietetics, Medicine, Nursing, Occupational Therapy, Pharmacy, and Physiotherapy.

The participants

Over 550 students have completed baseline surveys before entering their final year of professional training, representing 85% of their year groups. These students will be surveyed again at the end of their final year of training, and then again at the end of their first three years of professional practice. These people with provide information which will inform how health professionals are trained in the future.

The reason

Health care relies on the skills of many health and other professionals. Effective collaboration between a range of disciplines is needed especially when supporting people with long-term or complex needs. There are different models for helping health care professionals to work in collaborative teams, and there are different times when this type of training can be provided.

Currently very little is known about how collaborative attitudes and skills change throughout pre-registration training and in the first few years of professional practice. Similarly, little is known about factors which influence these attitudes and skills.

The LIP study will improve understanding about the development of interprofessional attitudes and skills over time. The information gained will help to inform the training of future health professionals. The involvement of such a large group of participants from seven different health care disciplines will ensure that quality information is gathered, and that this is useful to a range of health disciplines.

The LIP Study will also explore factors which influence career choices such as location (e.g. rural or urban), practice setting (e.g. primary or secondary care), and area of work. An improved understanding of influences upon these choices may help the health system to better adapt training to meet future needs.

The results

These will be published in academic journals and presented at conferences. Participants will be advised when results become available.

Early findings:

  • The majority of the cohort’s graduate health professionals are female, with 71% of the study cohort being women.
  • Each of the eight disciplines had an average graduation age in the early 20s. However, there is a wide range of ages from late teens to early 50s.
  • There are a variety of ethnicities in the study cohort, including NZ European (57%), Chinese (16%), Maori (9%), Indian (5%), Pacific (1%), and Other (20%).
  • Just 44% of participants grew up in major urban cities, with good representation of people from regional cities (29%), towns (15%), and small towns (11%).