Society for Social Work and Research

Sixteenth Annual Conference Research That Makes A Difference: Advancing Practice and Shaping Public Policy
11-15 January 2012 I Grand Hyatt Washington I Washington, DC

17094 Preparation for Interprofessional Practice: A Brief Curriculum Model for Interprofessional Education

Friday, January 13, 2012: 2:30 PM
McPherson Square (Grand Hyatt Washington)
* noted as presenting author
Robin P. Bonifas, PhD, Assistant Professor, Arizona State University, Phoenix, AZ
Background and Purpose: Effective interprofessional collaboration is associated with improved quality of care in medical settings, yet students in allied health disciplines have limited opportunities to build collaborative skills during their education and training. This study evaluates the impact of a brief interprofessional curriculum model for enabling students in diverse health professions to prepare for collaborative practice in geriatric care. Research questions emphasize assessing the curriculum's influence on students' values and attitudes toward interprofessional collaboration, their perceptions regarding how individual personality styles influence team dynamics, and their understanding of team members' professional roles and education for clinical practice.

The brief interprofessional curriculum model is a half-day training that brings together students in medicine, pharmacy, social work, nursing, and nutrition for a combined learning experience. This model includes four elements: 1) completion of the Myers Briggs Personality Inventory, 2) lecture on how personality factors influence team dynamics, 3) small group sessions featuring participation in a mock interprofessional team meeting to develop a care plan for a geriatric patient presented through a complex case study, and 4) a large group discussion of the team dynamics and associated care planning outcomes experienced in small groups.

Methods: A cross sectional pre- and post-survey research design was utilized. Students voluntarily completed study measures before and after participating in the event; a 95 percent response rate was achieved (n = 205). Statistical methods supporting the analysis of group differences, including paired samples t-tests and analysis of variance, were employed to answer the research questions.

Results: Following exposure to the brief interprofessional curriculum, students made statistically significant gains in multiple areas associated with their values and attitudes toward interprofessional teams. The largest improvements were made in their understanding that interprofessional collaboration is not unnecessarily complex, can enable care that addresses the needs of the whole person, and promotes sensitivity to patients' emotional and financial needs. In addition, students demonstrated greater ability to 1) connect how knowledge of personality styles can strengthen interprofessional practice and 2) identify the professional roles and training of their colleagues. At the same time, there was considerable variability in the gains students made across disciplines. For example, exposure to the brief interprofessional curriculum had a broader impact on the values and attitudes of nursing and social work students than it did on medical students.

Conclusions and Implications: The results of this study suggest that a brief interprofessional curriculum model that brings together allied health students for integrated learning has a significant impact on students' values and attitudes regarding interprofessional collaboration, their appreciation of the influence of personality styles on team dynamics, and their understanding of the roles and training of interprofessional team members. This model holds promise for health educators who face barriers in coordinating interprofessional opportunities due to scheduling challenges with the diverse program structures and curricula that are already filled with required courses. In addition, the model's variability in impact across disciplines suggests the importance of sensitizing students to the gamut of values and attitudes their colleagues may possess.

Previous Abstract | Next Abstract >>