Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Internal consistency of the readiness for interprofessional learning scale in German health care students and professionals

Cornelia Mahler1*, Justine Rochon2, Sven Karstens1, Joachim Szecsenyi1 and Katja Hermann1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of General Practice and Health Services Research, University Hospital Heidelberg, Vossstrasse 2, 69115 Heidelberg, Germany

2 Institute of Medical Biometry and Informatics, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany

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BMC Medical Education 2014, 14:145  doi:10.1186/1472-6920-14-145

Published: 16 July 2014

Abstract

Background

The implementation of a bachelor degree in “Interprofessional Health Care” at the University of Heidelberg, Germany has fostered the need to evaluate the impact of this innovative programme. The Readiness for Interprofessional Learning Scale (RIPLS) was developed by Parsell and Bligh (1999) to assess student’s attitudes towards interprofessional education. The RIPLS consists of 19 items and four subscales were identified by McFadyen (J Interprof Care19:595–603, 2005): “teamwork and collaboration”, “negative professional identity”, “positive professional identity” and “roles and responsibilities”. The RIPLS has been translated into a number of languages and used in a variety of different educational settings. A German version of the RIPLS was not available. Aim of the study was the translation of the RIPLS into German and testing of internal consistency.

Methods

The RIPLS was translated to German according to international guidelines and its psychometric properties were assessed in two online surveys with two different samples a) health care graduates and b) health care students. Descriptive analysis (mean, SD, corrected item-total correlation) of the Readiness for Interprofessional Learning Scale – German (RIPLS-D) was performed for item characteristics and Cronbach’s Alpha was calculated for internal consistency of overall and subscales of the RIPLS-D.

Results

Each sample consisted of 76 datasets. Reliability for the RIPLS-D overall scale was 0.83 in both samples. The subscales displayed internal consistency between 0.42 and 0.88. Corrected item-total correlation showed low values in two subscales in the sample of graduates.

Conclusions

While the overall RIPLS-D scale is reliable, several subscales showed low values and should be used with caution to measure readiness for interprofessional learning in the German health care context. Internal consistency of the instrument does not seem to be given in health care professionals at different stages of their professional career. In particular the sub-scale “roles and responsibilities” was problematic. For these reasons, the RIPLS-D cannot be recommended for use to assess this concept.

Keywords:
Interprofessional learning; Internal consistency; Questionnaires; Readiness for interprofessional learning; Assessment