Craddock, Deborah, O'Halloran, Cath, McPherson, Kathryn, Hean, Sarah and Hammick, Marilyn (2013) A top-down approach impedes the use of theory? Interprofessional educational leaders' approaches to curriculum development and the use of learning theory. Journal of Interprofessional Care, 27 (1). pp. 65-72. ISSN 1356-1820

International policy has emphasized the development of interprofessional education (IPE) to reinforce interprofessional practice. This study explored the extent to which IPE initiatives in the UK are based on sound theoretical frameworks. Findings from semi-structured interviews with lead IPE curriculum developers at eight higher education institutions are presented which identified curriculum developers' developmental approaches to IPE. The findings reveal a notable lack of explicit theoretical basis for models of IPE. In many cases, senior managers determined the institutional approach to IPE which academic staff then needed to deliver. Curriculum developers reported adopting a largely practical approach to IPE curriculum development. However, questioning that focused on learning and teaching methods revealed that a range of learning theories was used implicitly. The significance of these findings is discussed with recommendations to inform future curriculum development of IPE initiatives.