A Community Health Fair Fosters an Interprofessional Clinical Learning Environment
Interprofessional education (IPE) at our institution extends outside of a typical classroom environment through an annual student-led IP health fair that benefits members of the community who might not have adequate access to health care services. During the health fair, student volunteers from different health professions programs collaborated to provide education regarding common health issues and preventative measures for conditions including hypertension, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, and balance deficits. The purpose of this quality assurance study was to assess existing levels and subsequent change in IP socialization among students as a result of their participation in an elective one-time, five-hour long interprofessional community health fair.
A mixed-methods methodology was implemented. A total of 19 students from medicine, podiatry, pharmacy, physician assistant and physical therapy health profession programs elected to participate in the quality assurance project. The participants completed a pre- and post- intervention survey, Interprofessional Socialization and Valuing Scale-9 (ISVS-9), and faculty developed open-ended free text survey asking about instances of IP collaboration, administered at the conclusion of the fair. The quantitative data analysis was done using a Wilcoxon signed rank test. The qualitative data analysis identified common themes around IP collaboration.
Pre- and post- survey responses to ISVS-9 were matched (n = 19). A Wilcoxon signed-rank test showed that the IP community fair elicited a statistically significant change in student’s IP socialization (Z = -3.825, p = < 0.001). Common themes expressed by participants after the community fair included: increased respect among professionals (95%); increased effectiveness of patient education (68%); and improved understanding of each profession’s roles/responsibilities (63%),
The IP Community Health Fair at our institution served not only to provide essential community health services and resources, but it also promoted an increase in IP socialization characteristics and overall IP collaboration among students from five distinct health profession programs, providing a transformative learning experience that aligns with the IPEC competencies for our students.