Cohort Differences in the Impact of an Online Introductory Experience on Student Attitudes About Interprofessional Education
The impact of introductory experiences on student attitudes about IPE has been demonstrated in a variety of institutional settings and health science professions. Typically, the effectiveness of IPE experiences has been assessed within a single cohort. The aim of this study was to investigate the potential effect of cohort on student attitudes about IPE following an online introductory IPE course delivered to different student cohorts.
At the University of Michigan, an introductory online IPE course was delivered to students in 10 health science schools in Fall 2018 (n=993) and Fall 2019 (n=1,309). Student attitudes about IPE were based on SPICE-R2 scores for all items (Overall), and for Roles, Teamwork, and Outcomes subdomains using a 5-point Likert scale. SPICE-R2 scores were compared before (pretest) and after (posttest) the online module. Paired t-tests were used to determine differences between time points, and linear regression was used to estimate the effects of cohort year, controlled for academic level, gender and race on student attitudes.
At pretest, some scores were higher for the F19 than the F18 cohort (Overall: graduate > undergraduate students; Roles: female > male students, graduate > undergraduate students; Outcomes: male > female students) (p < .05). At posttest, Overall, Teamwork and Outcomes scores were lower for graduate students in F19 than F18 (p < .05). In both years, all SPICE-R2 scores improved after the online course regardless of academic level, gender or race (all p < .001). When predicting pretest scores using the linear model, marginal means for Overall, Teamwork and Outcomes were greater for graduate than undergraduate students (0.07, 0.11, 0.15, respectively) and for female than for male students (0.09, 0.13, 0.14, respectively) (p < .001), but cohort year did not have an effect. When predicting the difference in scores from pretest to posttest, marginal means for Overall, Roles, Teamwork, and Outcomes were less for graduate than undergraduate students (-0.13, -0.15, -0.12, and -0.12, respectively) (p < .001), but marginal means for F19 were slightly less (-0.04) than F18 for Overall and Teamwork (p < .05).
The impact of the introductory IPE experience was positive for both student cohorts, that is, student attitudes about IPE improved regardless of cohort year, academic level, gender and race. Although the amount of improvement was slightly affected by cohort year, the effect of academic level was much greater, suggesting that academic level may be an important factor when considering the impact of an introductory IPE experience across student cohorts.