The effect of an interdisciplinary community health project on student attitudes toward community health, people who are indigent and homeless, and team leadership skill development

Molly A Rose, Kevin J Lyons, Kathleen Swenson Miller, Diane Cornman-Levy
Journal of Allied Health 2003, 32 (2): 122-5
This study examined whether students' attitudes about community health practice, attitudes toward people who are indigent and homeless, and perceived leadership skills changed after participation in a planned interdisciplinary community health experience with an urban homeless or formerly homeless population. Data were collected from medicine, nursing, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and social work students who participated in the community health experiences and from students in these disciplines who did not participate in this curriculum. The interdisciplinary community health curriculum and practicum experiences, based on the Community Health Empowerment Model (CHEM), were designed and implemented by a coalition of community and academic partners. Students in the CHEM project self-selected into the curriculum and initially showed more positive attitudes about community health and indigent and homeless people than their peers not participating. Despite the CHEM students' positive initial attitudes, data from pretests and posttests revealed a significant positive change in their attitudes toward community health practice at the completion of the curriculum.

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