Effects of Interprofessional Education Activities on Students’ Core Competencies

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Randomly selected students in the Academic Health Sciences Divisions and Psychology Department at ETSU participated in a two-year Interprofessional Education (IPE) program. Prior research found that student’s general attitudes and perceptions of team oriented collaborative practice positively change with IPE experiences. However, there is a lack of research supporting that IPE improves students’ specific skills and competencies. The goal of ETSU’s pilot IPE program was to provide a collaborative learning environment for students from health professions to improve future health outcomes. Students participated in an IPE activity or course for each of the four Core Competencies for Interprofessional Collaborative Practice. The competencies included Roles and Responsibilities, Ethics, Communication, and Teams and Teamwork, which provide a framework for lifelong learning across all health professions’ education curricula. The purpose of the research was to determine whether participation in IPE activities and courses changed students’ specific skills and competencies within the broader four Core Competencies. It was predicted that integrating interprofessional education into post-secondary education would increase students’ knowledge and application and appreciation of interprofessional education. Data was collected through the online survey program, Survey Monkey©, before and after each course or activity. Pre- and post-surveys were administered to measure students’ judgments about their current level of knowledge, ability to implement the knowledge, and degree to which they valued the skills. Nine to twelve subcompetencies, derived from the Core Competencies, were presented in a question format addressing the proficiencies: I know..., I practice..., and I value... A total of 32 graduate students from the Colleges of Medicine, College of Nursing, College of Pharmacy, College of Public Health, College of Clinical and Rehabilitative Health Sciences, and Department of Psychology submitted 41 surveys. Dependent t-tests were used to test for change between pre- and post-test ratings. Results showed that the overall mean posttest ratings within each Core Competency were greater than the pre-test ratings at a statistically significant levels, excluding the Ethics Competency. The mean post-test ratings for each proficiency (e.g., I know, I practice, I value) were greater than the pre-test ratings at a statistically significant levels. Most students (95%) rated their initial evaluation of knowledge as accurate, meaning the students felt their pre-test ratings were representative of their prior knowledge. The findings of the current study suggest that integrating interprofessional education into post-secondary education courses, such as that provided by the ETSU IPE Pilot Project, may increase students’ knowledge, skills and appreciation for interprofessional education.


Johnson City, TN

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