Self-reported assessment tools are commonly used in IPE to measure change in student attitudes and/or perceptions. Real time pre-tests measurements are subject to ‘response-shift bias’. A response-shift bias occurs when there is a change in the participant’s understanding of the content, therefore changing the participant’s standard of measurement (Howard and Dailey, J. Appl. Psychol. 64, 144; 1979). The Student Perceptions of Interprofessional Clinical Education - Revised 2 (SPICE-R2) tool is used to measure students’ perceptions towards interprofessional teamwork and team-based practice (Factor 1: 4 questions), roles/responsibilities for collaborative practice (Factor 2: 3 questions), and patient outcomes from collaborative practice (Factor 3: 3 questions) in a 10-item questionnaire.
480 students from 19 programs engaged in a two-year longitudinal IPE experience at LSU Health-New Orleans. The students completed the SPICE-R2 before year 1 (Pre Year 1), at the end of year 1 (Post Year 1), at the beginning of year 2 (Pre Year 2) and at the end of year 2 (Post Year 2). All responses were recorded in real time, except during Post Year 2 where students were also given a retrospective pre-test design. A significant (p < 0.0001) decrease in the total and Factor 1 SPICE-R2 means was found between Pre Year 1 and Post Year 1. The largest decrease was noted between Pre Year 1 and retrospective Pre Year 2 (from 42.16 ± 4.46 to 37.23 ± 5.90, p < 0.0001). There was also a significant increase in means between retrospective Pre Year 2 and Post Year 2 (from 37.23 ± 5.90 to 38.91 ± 7.84, p < 0.0001). These results, which will be validated with subsequent cohorts, caution the reliability of using self-reported assessment tools in real time prior to longitudinal IPE experiences, since early learners’ understanding of interprofessional collaboration will change overtime and change the standard of measurement by which they are evaluating each question.