Interprofessional Education in Action: Use of the IPEC Core Competencies in a Community Falls Clinic
Due to the rapidly changing healthcare environment, preparing health profession graduate students to work collaboratively should be a high priority for educators. Although this concept is commonly accepted, the optimal pedagogical strategies necessary to develop students who are prepared to work collaboratively is still unknown. The Interprofessional Education Collaborative (IPEC) provides useful competencies for educators to create learning objectives and provides the foundation for active learning strategies. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of an educational interprofessional community engagement activity designed from Interprofessional Collaborative (IPEC) Core Competencies in improving interprofessional attitudes, knowledge, readiness to work interprofessionally and with older adults.
80 professional College of Allied Health students enrolled in the DPT, PA, or OT program completed the required educational activity and all consented to participate. Data collected included a pre- and post-Interprofessional Attitudes Scale (IPAS) and an author created survey. The Interprofessional Attitudes Scale (IPAS) is a valid and reliable measure of student attitudes and perceptions towards interprofessional practice. The additional survey asked students to respond using a validated 5-point Likert scale with blank text boxes for open-ended statements to assess their perception of knowledge of roles and responsibilities, teamwork/communication skills, fall risk assessment skills, confidence, and interprofessional collaboration.
IPAS subscales and survey questions were compared between groups and across time using repeated measures ANOVA and effect sizes (ES).
Students’ interprofessional attitudes was higher than neutral in all pre and post subscales of the IPAS. Only PA students showed a small significant change between times (p=.011, d=0.42) on the IPAS for their perception of Teamwork, Roles, and Responsibilities. Large-to-very large significant improvements were noted for multiple survey subscales for PA, PT, and OT students. Students reported significant improvements in their knowledge of other professions (p<.001, d=1.11-2.02), ability to work interprofessionally (p<.001, d=0.9-1.43), and ability to work with older adults (p<.001, d=1.09-1.78).
Conclusions/Relevance to the conference theme: Through the Looking Glass: Transforming Physical Therapy Education
This study provides a clinically applicable scenario (a fall risk assessment) to bring students from different professions together towards a common goal. This study strengthens the theory that students learn best about other professions, teamwork, and communication through active community engagement alongside students from other disciplines with an embedded clinical experience within professional didactic curriculum. Additionally, bringing multiple professional students together within distinct curricular programs for clinical interprofessional experiences is feasbile and students perceive enhanced learning.
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