An examination of students’ perceptions of their interprofessional placements in residential aged care

Karla Seaman*, Rosemary Saunders, Elly Williams, Jane Harrup-Gregory, Helen Loffler, Fiona Lake

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)
15 Downloads (Pure)


It is essential that health professionals are trained to provide optimal care for our ageing population. Key to this is a positive attitude to older adults along with the ability to work in teams and provide interprofessional care. There is limited evidence on the impact an interprofessional education (IPE) placement in a residential aged care facility (RACF) has on students. In 2015 in Western Australia, 51 students (30% male, median age 23 years), from seven professions, undertook a placement between 2 and 13 weeks in length at 1 RACF. Pre- and post-placement measurements of attitudes to the elderly were collected using the Ageing Semantic Differential (ASD) questionnaire and level of readiness for interprofessional learning with the Readiness for Interprofessional Learning Scale (RIPLS). A total of 47 students completed matched ASD and RIPLS surveys. The mean total score on the ASD survey decreased significantly from pre- to post-placement from 116.0 to 108.9 (p = 0.033), indicating attitudes became increasingly positive towards older adults. Significant differences post-placement were seen indicating better readiness for interprofessional learning, for two out of four subscales on the RIPLS, namely “teamwork & collaboration” (42.1–44.0; (p = 0.000)) and “positive professional identity” (18.2–19.3 (p = 0.001)). The degree of change is similar to findings from other settings. The results support IPE-focussed student placements within RACF positively influence student’s attitudes towards the older adult as well as increase student’s readiness for interprofessional learning, confirming RACF are valuable places for training health professionals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-153
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Interprofessional Care
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 4 Mar 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2017. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • Attitudes to older adults
  • interprofessional education
  • nursing homes
  • residential aged care
  • student placement


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