Social work practice in healthcare settings is changing rapidly, emphasizing culturally congruent care alongside behavioral health and primary care integration to reduce disparities in health and healthcare access. Educators must develop curricula that prepare emerging social workers with the requisite knowledge, attitudes, and skills to provide culturally congruent care in integrated behavioral health settings. This paper discusses changes in Master of Social Work (MSW) students’ transcultural and interprofessional self-efficacy, values, and socialization before and after participation in a behavioral health workforce training program.
Four cohorts of advanced-year MSW students were enrolled in a behavioral health workforce training program. Students (N=97) completed a program survey before and after participation in the training, which included: the Transcultural Self-Efficacy Tool-Multidisciplinary Healthcare Provider Version (TSET-MHP), an 83-item questionnaire measuring students’ self-reported confidence in transcultural knowledge, interviewing, attitudes, values, and beliefs across three subscales: cognitive, practical, and affective; the Interprofessional Education Collaborative Competency Self-Assessment Tool (IPEC), a 16-item questionnaire measuring students’ perceived competency in interprofessional collaborative healthcare practice across two subscales: interaction and values; and the Interprofessional Socialization and Valuing Scale (ISVS-21), a 21-item questionnaire measuring students’ interprofessional socialization and readiness to work on interprofessional teams, including beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors related to interprofessional teamwork. Utilizing paired samples t-tests, we evaluated changes from pre- to post-program across all three scales and associated subscales.
Results indicated statistically significant mean differences across all measures from pre- to post-program. For the TSET-MHP, results indicated changes in the cognitive subscale from pre- (M=6.10, SD=1.67) to post-program (M=7.90, SD=1.13; t(96)=-10.13, p<.001), the practical subscale from pre- (M=6.80, SD=1.46) to post-program (M=8.33, SD=1.13; t(96)=-10.15, p<.001), and the affective subscale from pre- (M=8.14, SD=1.04) to post-program (M=8.96, SD=0.74; t(96)=-8.13, p<.001). Results indicated changes in overall IPEC scores from pre- (M=4.20, SD=0.56) to post-program (M=4.56, SD=0.39; t(97)=-6.54, p<.001), and in both the interprofessional interaction subscale from pre- (M=3.98, SD=0.67) to post-program (M=4.48, SD=0.43; t(97)=-8.08, p<.001), and the interprofessional values subscale from pre- (M=4.42, SD=0.50) to post-program (M=4.67, SD=0.37; t(94)=-4.91, p<.001). Finally, results indicated change in overall ISVS-21 scores from pre- (M=5.19, SD=1.00) to post-program (M=6.12, SD=0.61; t(94)=-10.04, p<.001).
Conclusions and Implications:
Specialized training curricula in integrated, culturally congruent care influences MSW students’ related knowledge, skills, values, and self-confidence. Preparing the emerging social work workforce to confidently engage in culturally congruent, collaborative care is an important first step in the pursuit of health equity.