Changing Student Attitudes Toward Interprofessional Learning and Collaboration: Evidence for the Effectiveness of Partnering with Health Care Mentors in the Academic Setting

Purpose/Hypothesis : Academic institutions are including opportunities for interprofessional learning (IPL) and collaboration (IPC) in the curriculum of students studying to become healthcare professionals. Healthcare mentors (HCM), who are individuals living with one or more health conditions, may offer opportunities for faculty to create high impact, authentic IPL experiences. The purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness of a 6-hour curricular experience involving HCM in changing student attitudes toward IPL and IPC.Number of Subjects : Graduate students from clinical psychology, physical therapy and social work and undergraduate senior nursing students were participants.Materials/Methods : Twenty students completed a 6-hour learning experience that involved: (1) learning about the importance of IPL/C and the specific concerns of clients living with chronic health conditions, (2) conducting a discipline-specific examination on a HCM with MS, and (3) participation in a student-led interprofessional meeting. The discipline-specific perspectives regarding the needs of the HCM were shared with peers from other professions. Consensus-based recommendations for care were developed and then presented to the HCM by the student team. A control group (n=19) that did not participate in the IPL experience was included. The Interdisciplinary Education Perception Scale (IEPS) and the Attitudes Toward Health Care Teams Scale (ATHCTS) were completed pre and post-IPL by both groups. A 2 (group - control versus IPL) by 2 (time Ð pre-IPL versus post-IPL) repeated measures ANOVA was implemented. Discipline-specific focus groups were also conducted.Results : The groups did not differ significantly pre-IPL. A statistically significant within group difference for the IPL group was found for the IEPS which examined perceptions of competency and autonomy and the need for cooperation. The IPL group demonstrated statistically significant within and between group differences for the ATHCTS indicating more positive attitudes toward working in teams and with other disciplines when compared to the control group. The focus group identified 4 key themes that may account for the positive impact of the IPL experience: (1) openness by the group to communication; (2) respect among the disciplines during the team meeting; (3) increased awareness of the value of incorporating the perspectives from other disciplines and the HCM; and (4) a discovery of the importance of the process for providing patient-centered care.Conclusions : The findings support the effectiveness of partnering with HCM to help students learn Òfrom, with and aboutÓ peers in other professions. Positive changes in student attitudes toward IPL/C were found.Clinical Relevance : An important and necessary element of providing high quality care to patients and clients living with chronic health conditions requires collaboration among healthcare professionals. The skills needed to collaborate effectively in clinical practice have to be nurtured prior to graduation.

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  • Control #: 1972464
  • Type: Platform
  • Event/Year: CSM2015
  • Authors: Robert Wellmon, Linda Knauss, Mary Baumberger-Henry, Normajean Colby, Patricia Fletcher
  • Keywords: Interprofessional Learning|Interprofessional Education|Healthcare Mentors

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