Health disparities and inequities that exist in the United States are strongly correlated to the economic, social, and environmental factors (social determinants) that surround individuals, communities and populations and are often based on decades of discrimination and social isolation. The use of IPE and collaboration for support of an improved delivery of healthcare is rapidly becoming the standard of care across North America (Tsang, Chheung, & Sakakibara, 2016). The goal of interprofessional education is to prepare future healthcare professionals to deliberately and collaboratively work together with the common goal of building a safer and better patient-centered and community/population-oriented health care system. Social workers fulfill multiple roles and functions on interprofessional teams, so it is important for social work students to be exposed to an interprofessional environment and understand the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration before they commence professional practice. This study examined social work student perceptions of roles and responsibilities, ethics, and communication related to interprofessional education and practice after participating in two IPE seminars. Research question- “Do IPE seminars improve social work students perceptions of roles and responsibilities, ethics, and communication?”.
Methods: study design, including a description of participants and sampling methods, data collection procedures, measures, and appropriate analytic/ statistical approach.
Students worked in multidisciplinary teams to address ethical issues in healthcare, discuss and practice effective communication, and examine the roles and responsibilities of each team member. A pretest-posttest design incorporating the Student Perceptions of Interprofessional Clinical Education-Revised (SPICE-R) Instrument was utilized to assess the changes in student perception after completion of the sequence of two seminars. Responses were collected anonymously in an online Qualtrics survey. Statistical analysis was conducted in SPSS utilizing two-way ANOVA and independent t-tests to compare student responses prior to and after seminar experiences and between in-person versus online delivery method.
Results: specific results in summary form.
Improvements in students’ responses via the SPICE-R were evident for all items in both the in-person and online groups. In the group that participated in seminars in-person, 4 out of 10 responses were statistically significant while the group that participated online demonstrated statistically significant improvement on all 10 items on the tool. When comparing all pre and post variables separately, it was noted that the group that participated online rated pre scores much lower than the group that participated in-person. All post variables were very similar, yet no statistically significant difference was noted when comparing with independent t-tests. No statistically significant differences were noted by discipline in scores and items. The online group rated perceptions of IPE teamwork lower before seminars. Thus, findings indicate in-person and online can both be impactful approaches to conduct IPE experiences.
Conclusions and Implications: description of the main outcome(s) of the study and implications for practice, policy, or further research.
Exposure to IPE helps prepare future healthcare professionals to work together with the common goal of building a safer and better patient-centered and community/population-oriented health care system.