Community of Inquiry Framework and Online Interprofessional Pain Education: Collaboration an Self-Efficacy
Purpose: The purpose of this quantitative quasi-experimental pre-post study is to investigate students’ perceived self-efficacy for interprofessional learning following participation in a one-week online interprofessional pain education module. Given the importance of a strong community of inquiry in a learning environment, relationships between self-efficacy outcomes and students’ perceived Teaching, Social, and Cognitive presence as described in the Community of Inquiry (CoI) framework will also be examined. Interprofessional collaborative approaches are recommended to address health care issues in today’s complex health care system. Current recommendations for best practice management of pain include focus on interdisciplinary team-based approaches. However, investigations into pre-licensure health care curricula suggest that pain education content, implementation, and hours, vary across disciplines with a noted lack of opportunities for interprofessional collaboration. Health professions students have reported improved attitudes toward interprofessional teamwork, improved understanding of professional roles, and recognized value of interprofessional collaboration in health care following interprofessional education (IPE) courses. Yet, barriers to implementation of IPE exist, including limited space, finances, time, technology, and presence of conflicting schedules. Online education is an e-learning strategy that can offer an alternative to face-to-face instruction while simultaneously addressing barriers to IPE. However, the ability to develop communities of inquiry that promote knowledge acquisition and self-efficacy for interprofessional collaboration in the context of pain education must be further examined. Methods/Description: This study utilizes a constructivist social and cognitive theoretical framework of IPE to investigate self-efficacy for interprofessional experiential learning and relationships with perceived teaching, social, and cognitive presence as described in the CoI model. The study has been approved by the appropriate IRBs and participant recruitment is underway. Volunteer participants are graduate students in medicine (MD), nursing (RN), physical therapy (PT), occupational therapy (OT), physician assistant (PA), and social work (SW) programs at a private New England university. Students will participate in an interprofessional, one-week online pain education module the first week of June, 2019. The module includes asynchronous collaboration, two interactive Centers of Excellence for Pain Education [CoEPE] modules, and participation in an interactive discussion board. Outcomes will be assessed by pre- and post- completion of the Self-Efficacy for Interprofessional Experiential Learning [SEIEL] scale, and post-module completion of the CoI questionnaire. Analysis of Variance will be used to identify any significant changes in self-efficacy, and correlational analysis will be used to identify relationships between level of self-efficacy for interprofessional experiential learning, and perceived presences from the Community of Inquiry. Results/Outcomes: The one-week online interprofessional pain education study will take place the first week of June, 2019. Data analysis will begin immediately following and the study will be complete by mid-August, 2019. Conclusions/Relevance to the conference theme: Online interactions in an established interprofessional community of inquiry may be one way to increase self-efficacy for interprofessional experiential learning, while at the same time provide needed collaborative experiences for pre-licensure students in pain education. Furthermore, this study will contribute to needed research in the area of IPE in the online setting and self-efficacy in online education. This study will not only contribute to the IPE body of knowledge to address a community health issue (pain) but also respond to the World Health Organization’s call for a cultural shift that supports collaborative interprofessional practice. A cultural shift is also necessary in education. There is a need for innovation in the delivery of interprofessional education, including pain education in pre-licensure students. This study investigates self-efficacy following a virtual connection of students from different professional programs, allowing for interaction and collaboration beyond the walls of a traditional classroom. Findings will also contribute data points to help better understand the perceived effectiveness of this online delivery, the underlying components of the online learning community, and future opportunities for implementation in hybrid or online IPE programs.