Evaluation of a geriatrics course emphasizing interdisciplinary issues for chiropractic students

C Hawk, L Byrd, L Z Killinger
Journal of Gerontological Nursing 2001, 27 (7): 6-12
In 1998, the Iowa Geriatric Education Center (IGEC) was funded by the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration Bureau of Health Professions. The role of the chiropractic institution participating as a partner in the IGEC was to develop and evaluate a model geriatrics course for chiropractic students emphasizing experiential learning and interdisciplinary issues. The evaluation assessed changes in the students' knowledge of geriatrics and their attitudes toward older adults and toward interdisciplinary issues. There were 197 students in the class. The alternate course was offered to 20 volunteers for the pilot test. Score changes from baseline to post-intervention were evaluated using the Wilcoxon signed-ranks test. Instruments were Facts on Aging Quiz (FAQ), Aging Semantics Differential (ASD), and Interdisciplinary Education Perception Scale (IEPS). Median scores improved by 12 percentage points on FAQ (p = 0.002), 18 points on the ASD (p = 0.007), and decreased by 15 points on the IEPS (p = 0.064). Integration of the course into the curriculum is being planned, and the evaluation scheme appears appropriate for other health professions, such as nursing, to use for evaluating interdisciplinary geriatrics courses for their students.

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