Global Cafe: Interprofessional Education Research in The Netherlands – 2 July 2024 🗓

Interprofessional Education Research in The Netherlands

Presenters: Dr. Jan-Jaap Reinders (Hanze University of Applied Sciences; University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen) and Hester Smeets (Zuyd University of Applied Sciences)
2 July 2024
3:30 PM Central European Time (CET) (1:30 PM UTC; 9:30 AM ET)


Co-sponsored by the Dutch-speaking Network for Interprofessional Collaboration (IPINN).
Moderator: Dr. Andrea Pfeifle

Extended Professional Identity Theory (EPIT) and Interprofessional Identity

Dr. Jan-Jaap Reinders (Hanze University of Applied Sciences; University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, The Netherlands)

We explore the concept of interprofessional identity through the lens of the Extended Professional Identity Theory (EPIT). This theory integrates various psychological identity theories in order to enable, explain and predict the formation of an interprofessional identity and its relationship with congruent behaviors. EPIT-based interprofessional identity complements profession-specific identities, perceiving identity as a layered social phenomenon. The theory, construct validity, cross-cultural research, predictive validity, development strategies, and its relationship with interprofessional competence and outcomes in healthcare practice will be discussed. We navigate the complexities of interprofessional identity and its impact on collaborative healthcare delivery. Also, how this theoretical approach is different form other existing approaches to interprofessional identity.


Exploring the concept of interprofessional identity through the Extended Professional Identity Theory (EPIT) reveals a comprehensive framework integrating diverse psychological identity theories. EPIT explains the formation of interprofessional identity, its complementary relationship with professional identity and its alignment with congruent behaviors, like more joint effort and more mutual exchange of information and expertise in a mixed profession group. This identity, rooted in EPIT, supplements profession-specific professional identities, viewing this social identity as a the social psychological association of an individual with an interprofessional group or social category. This Global Café will delve into the theory, the construct validity of the EPIT-based interprofessional identity measure (EPIS), cross-cultural research, predictive validity, development strategies for its formation, and its nexus with interprofessional competence and healthcare outcomes. Together we navigate the intricacies of interprofessional identity and its pivotal role in collaborative healthcare delivery.
Tajfel’s (1978) definition of social identity was the fundament of Cameron’s (2004) Three-Factor Model of Social Identity. This is also fundamental to EPIT-based interprofessional identity which considers this identity to be a new kind of social identity. The integration of complementary psychological identity theories was inspired by the work of Stets and Burke (2000), who explored the complementary nature of identity theory and social identity theory. These are distinct fields of identity research within psychology. They contended that merging these two approaches would significantly enhance our comprehension of human complexity and motivation stemming from group memberships. This fusion promises a deeper understanding of the intricacies of human nature and the driving forces behind individual behaviors rooted in group memberships. EPIT debuted in the European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology in 2018, while the EPIT-based instrument for measuring interprofessional identity, EPIS, was published in the Journal of Interprofessional Care in 2020. Recent findings, including the independence of interprofessional identity from other shared identities like team identity, were published in Medical Education. However, EPIT is different from other theoretical approaches. Several theoretical approaches to interprofessional identity are sometimes perceived as interchangeable while each theory has different implications

Jan-Jaap Reinders

Jan Jaap Reinders is a work and organizational psychologist and specialized in task shifting, interprofessional collaboration and interprofessional education.​

He developed a Meta-Model of Interprofessional Development (Reinders, 2018). This meta-model consists of five consecutive overlapping phases (1 to 5) that are connected by two guiding principles: increasing complexity and increasing interprofessional self-regulation. The meta-model connects psychosocial, professional, procedural and systemic aspects of interprofessional collaboration as part of an integrated care. Several Dutch educational programmes have adopted this new meta-model for the development of interprofessional education: dentistry, dental hygiene, physiotherapy, speech therapy and nutrition and dietetics. Currently, a paper is prepared in collaboration with the University of Minnesota, Bangor University (Wales, UK), University of Groningen and Hanze University of Groningen, to describe its scientific foundation and practical implications.​

The Extended Professional Identity Theory (EPIT) was also developed by Jan Jaap Reinders (Reinders, 2018; Reinders et al., 2018). This new psychological theory describes how the formation of an interprofessional identity can be facilitated in order to enhance interprofessional collaboration. Experiments show positive results with regard to increased reciprocity between members of different professions and a change in perceived interprofessional task distribution.​
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Beyond the Silos: Design guidelines for interprofessional assessment in higher healthcare education

Hester Smeets (Zuyd University of Applied Sciences, The Netherlands)

I would like to present the methodology and results of my PhD project regarding assessment of interprofessional competencies at an IP Global Cafe. Using design-based research, we formulated design guidelines and requirements for interprofessional assessments in higher healthcare education to prepare students for interprofessional practice.


The need for IP education is underscored to foster collaboration among future healthcare professionals. However, little is known about assessing students’ IP competencies, posing three main challenges: the lack of consensus on IP competence, decision-making at individual and team levels, and designing authentic IP assessment tasks. The research question of this PhD project was: What are the characteristics of and requirements for assessment leading to valid inferences on interprofessional competencies in higher healthcare education?
Our first study regards a scoping review of current IP performance assessments, revealing diverse competency domains and frameworks but a lack of information on assessment purposes and criteria. The study underscores the necessity for a systematic design of well-aligned performance assessments in IP education.
Our second study involved a consensus study to formulate design guidelines for IP competency assessments. Twenty-six guidelines are developed, addressing assessment tasks, the pool of assessors, and assessment procedures. However, knowledge gaps persist in translating these guidelines into actual IP assessment designs.
The third study reports on a qualitative validation study of an assessment prototype focusing on authenticity and scoring in a prototype IP assessment task. Concerns arise about the authenticity of the task and its alignment with real-world IP practice. The study highlights crucial balancing acts in validity evaluation.
The fourth and last study presents a redesigned IP assessment task and investigates its effectiveness in assessing student teams’ IP collaboration strategy. The study suggests the need for an integrated program of IP assessments with increasing complexity to address the inadequacy of a single assessment.
This research stresses the complexity of defining the IP competence construct, advocates for authentic assessment tasks, and underscores the importance of aligning assessment, pedagogy, and construct to ensure valid inferences on students’ IP competencies.

Author(s): Hester Smeets, Laurie Delnoij, Dominique Sluijsmans, Albine Moser, Jeroen van Merriënboer

Hester Smeets

Hester Smeets is a health scientist who works at Zuyd University of Applied Sciences. She is the project leader of the revision of interprofessional education at this University. She also works as a researcher in interprofessional collaboration at MIK & PIW group, an organisation for childcare and social work. In 2018, she started with her PhD focusing on assessment of interprofessional competencies in higher healthcare education. Her dissertation is finished, and she is looking forward to sharing her findings with the Interprofessional.Global community!

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    Upcoming Global Cafés:

    • Topic: Meta-analysis of RCT: Interprofessional Education: Effects on professional practice and healthcare outcomes
      Presenter: Matthew Kerry
      4 June 2024 at 14:30 BST/15:30 CET

    • Topic: IPE Student Training Care Homes: A Longitudinal Study
      Presenter: Melanie Stephens
      18 June 2024 at 14:00 BST/13:00 UTC/9:00 ET

    • Topic: Extended Interprofessional Identity Theory (EPIT) and Interprofessional Identity presented by Jan-Jaap Reinders - 3:30 PM CET (1:30 PM UTC; 9:30 AM ET) and
      Topic: Beyond the Silos: Design guidelines for interprofessional assessment in higher healthcare education presented by Hester Smeets - 4.00 PM CET (2.00 PM UTC; 10.00 AM ET)
      2 July 2024 at 3:30 PM CET (1:30 PM UTC; 9:30 AM ET)

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