Interprofessional education has a significant impact on learners' attitudes, skills and behaviors towards teamwork. There is also evidence that IPE can improve clinical outcomes. Our ability to modify attitudes to teamwork using short educational interventions is limited. This is useful since many programs struggle with enough curricular time for comprehensive IPE programming. Our hypothesis was that first-year student attitudes towards teamwork would improve with our half-day IPE course.
Design or Methodology
The Interprofessional Team Training Day (ITTD) trained first year students from the School of Medicine, School of Nursing, and School of Public Health. This included 7 preclinical disciplines from Anesthesiologist Assistant (AA), Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), Doctor of Medicine (MD), Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT), Genetic Counselor (GC), Physician Assistant (PA), and Public Health (PH) programs. ITTD consisted of a large group lecture, multidisciplinary case-based panel discussions, small group sessions, and a social. Small group sessions were led by faculty facilitators from the healthcare system. Students also completed an on-line IPE learning module prior to the ITTD. Using the Nebraska Interprofessional Education Attitudes Scale (NIPEAS), student perceptions of their ability to effectively communicate were assessed prior to and following the training event. A paired-samples t-test was conducted to determine the effect of the ITTD on team attitudes.
A total of 1164 students participated in the ITT Day. Nine hundred sixty (83%) students completed the NIPEAS before ITTD and of those 540 (56%) completed the post-ITTD NIPEAS. Overall NIPEAS score increased from a mean of 4.29 to 4.43, p=0.003. The mean differences among disciplines ranged from 0.03 (BSN) to 0.29 (AA).
Modifying attitudes towards teamwork especially early in healthcare education is important. These improvements that we demonstrated after only a half-day IPE program will provide our students with a strong base for future educational interventions.