Definition

Interprofessional practice is the current industry terminology that is used to refer to “two or more professions working together as a team with a common purpose, commitment and mutual respect” (Freeth et al. 2005, cited in Dunston et al., 2009, p. 6).

The teams in which the professionals may operate may be described as:

  • Interdisciplinary
  • Multidisciplinary
  • Transdisciplinary

Dunston, R., Lee, A., Lee, A., Matthews, L., Nisbet, G., Pockett, R., Thistlethwaite, J., & White, J. (2009). Interprofessional health education in Australia: The way forward. Retrieved from http://www.rilc.uts.edu.au/pdfs/wayforward.pdf

Reading for understanding

To gain an understanding of these different types of interprofessional teams start with the following publications:

Jessup, R. (2007). Interdisciplinary versus multidisciplinary care teams: Do we understand the difference? Australian Health Review, 31(3), 330-331.

Higgs, J., McAllister, L., & Sefton, A. (2012). Chapter 1: Communication in the health sciences. In J. Higgs, R. Ajjawi, L. McAllister, F. Trede, & S. Loftus (Eds.), Communicating in the health sciences (3rd ed., pp. 4-14). Melbourne, Vic.: Oxford University Press.

Portsmouth, L., Coyle, J., & Trede, F. (2012). Chapter 27: Working as a member of a health team. In J. Higgs, R. Ajjawi, L. McAllister, F. Trede, & S. Loftus (Eds.), Communicating in the health sciences (3rd ed., pp. 271-279). Melbourne, Vic.: Oxford University Press.

Stone, N. (2007). Coming in from the interprofessional cold in Australia. Australian Health Review, 31(3), 332-340.

World Health Organization. (2010). Framework for action on interprofessional education and collaborative practice. Retrieved from http://www.who.int/hrh/resources/framework_action/en/index.html