Collaborative care among interdisciplinary teams to improve health outcomes is a growing trend1. This study reports on the results of the first year of the GLOBE team training program, funded by a HRSA behavioral health workforce training grant at a large southern urban university. Beginning in 2017, 18 masters of social work students and 4 doctoral counseling students were selected from a competive pool of applicants. For one year students are required to attend 4 workshops on empirically-supported interventions, 4 case conferences that provide clinical supervision and interprofessional education (IPE) training, and an integrated behavioral health course. The overall objectives of the program are to increase interprofessional knowledge and cultural competency when working with underserved, diverse populations in integrated health care settings.
Methods: A one-group pretest-posttest design was used to assess whether GLOBE team training students (N=22) increased positive attitudes and knowledge of interprofessional practice and cultural competency using the Inter-professional Self-Assessment Scale (IPSA), the Entry Level Interprofessional Scale (ELIQ), the Behaioral Health Practice Self-Efficacy Scale (BHSES) and the Multicultural Counseling Knowledge and Awareness Scale (MCKAS). These data were collected online at pretest and posttest by the lead evaluator using unique IDs to decrease social desirability bias, and paired-samples t-tests were used to analyze the data.
Results: There was significant improvement on the IPSA across perceived understanding of IPE competencies (p=.025), perceived strength in IPE competencies (p<.001), and perceived importance of the IPE competencies (p=.006). Analysis of the ELIQ measure showed significant improvement on the communication and teamwork subscale (t (19)= -3.08, p=.006, d= .73). No significant improvement on the interprofessional learning or interprofessional interaction subscales was seen. On the interprofessional learning scale, at pretest, students averaged a 3.12 per item mean on a 1-5 scale and per item mean of 3.38 at posttest, suggesting that there was not much of a change in preference of or perceived value of learning with other professionals. When it came to views of interprofessional interaction, their views were high to begin with a mean of 4.46 on a 1-5 scale to start at pretest and a per item mean score of 4.57 at posttest. There was a significant improvement (t (18) = -17.30, p<.001, d= 2.19) on the BHSES -1 scale and the BHSES-2 scale (t (20) = -1.05, p=.01, d=.69). There was not significant improvement on the MCKAS from pretest to posttest, with a per-item pretest mean of 2.88 and a posttest mean of 2.85 at posttest on a scale of 1-4.
Conclusions: Results suggest that the first year of training counseling psychology and social work students together to achieve competency in interprofessional behavioral health achieved success in improving perceived IP competencies, communication and teamwork when working in IP teams, and behavioral health self-efficacy working in primary care settings. There is a need to explore ways to improve the perceived value of interprofessional learning and multicultural knowledge in the training program.