Qualitative evaluation of learning between different professional groups

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust


Purpose– The purpose of this paper is to present the results of a qualitative evaluation of a learning initiative between different mental health professional groups, the Collaborative Learning Initiative (CLI). These qualitative results are after the first year of a two year evaluation of the CLI in which social work, clinical psychology and nursing students together with post-registration medics undertook a sequence of joint learning in relation to mental health theory and practice.

Design/methodology/approach– In total, 81 post-course evaluations were qualitatively analysed using a process of thematic analysis based on the guidelines outlined by Braun and Clarke (2006). Each academic involved with the CLI thematically analysed the post-course evaluations from their discipline. Following the generation of key themes each set of evaluations was separately analysed by an academic from a different professional discipline associated with the initiative.

Findings– The evaluation of this initiative demonstrates that the model of interdisciplinary teaching whereby service user and carers facilitating small group working is an effective model for delivering interprofessional mental health education. The paper highlights the convergent and divergent themes between the different groups involved in the initiative. Most of the social work, medics, nursing and all clinical psychology participants evaluated the programme positively, however some of the themes were not positive and these are also discussed within the paper.

Originality/value– Based on this qualitative evaluation, the evaluation of the service user and carer small group facilitators and observations by the CLI organizers, changes will be made to the second year of the evaluation cycle and these changes are highlighted in the paper. The uniqueness and value of this initiative lies in both having service users and carers involved in the design, delivery, evaluation and dissemination of the CLI and also in the strength of having four professional disciplines involved. Limitations of the study are highlighted.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-228
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Mental Health, Training, Education and Practice
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 9 Dec 2013


  • Interdisciplinary education, Interprofessional learning, Mental health, Participant views, Thematic analysis