Professional Poster

From, with and About Wellness - an Interprofessional Approach to Group Health

Thursday, August 6, 2020, 10:00 am - 10:00 am EDT

Background: The Dr. Charles A. and Ann Sanders Impact Practice Center (IPC) at MGH Institute of Health Professions brings

together students from across health professions to learn and practice in teams and to deliver essential free care to the community. The

IPC affords students interprofessional clinical practice experiences that engage clients with aphasia due to a stroke in health

maintenance strategies. Stroke is the leading cause of long-term disability in the US and more than 795,000 people in the US suffer a

stroke every year. Stroke survivors live with many co-morbidities and the stroke survivors seen at the IPC have an average of 4.2

(+1.5) co-morbidities with hypertension being the most frequent at 60%. A significant need for client wellness and education was

identified. Design/Methodology: An interprofessional faculty team designed a student learning experience to increase student

knowledge of chronic health issues and guide the planning and implementation of health promotion activities. Students from nursing,

communication science and disorders, physical therapy and occupational therapy participated. Results: The experience facilitated

understanding of how interprofessional approaches enhance health. Upon evaluation, students described the role and utilization of

other health disciplines within the context of wellness and the benefits of interprofessional collaboration. They reported increased

confidence when providing health education and integrating the knowledge and skills learned into future practice. Client evaluation

surveys provided positive qualitative feedback and reports of application of strategies at home. Increased client participation occurred

over subsequent semesters. Conclusions: The IPC wellness curriculum effectively models interprofessional care in health education

and wellness. Students participate in a unique learning opportunity that contributes to positive client outcomes as well as offering

students an opportunity to practice within an interprofessional team. The model can be integrated into existing curricula without

overburdening faculty. Programs can apply the IPC model to structure valuable interprofessional learning collaborations. Lessons

Learned: The IPC wellness curriculum is easily adaptable to meet the need for meaningful virtual learning experiences in light of the

COVID-19 pandemic. The model affords opportunities to reach a wide array of community groups via video conferencing and deliver

impactful health promotion activities.