An interprofessional education session for first-year health science students

Andrea Cameron, Milka Ignjatovic, Sylvia Langlois, Dale Dematteo, Lisa DiProspero, Susan Wagner, Scott Reeves
American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education 2009 July 10, 73 (4): 62

OBJECTIVE: To implement and evaluate the effectiveness and short-term impact of an interprofessional education (IPE) session in the first year for health sciences students representing 9 health professions.

DESIGN: An interprofessional faculty committee created a 2(1/2) hour introductory interprofessional education session focusing on a single patient case and 2 possible discharge scenarios. A mixed method pretest/posttest research design was used to examine changes in students' perceptions of and attitudes toward IPE. Six follow-up focus groups also were held with students from the participating professions.

ASSESSMENT: Of 1197 health professions students enrolled, 914 students (76%) attended the IPE session. Two hundred thirty-two of 240 pharmacy students (97%) attended. Forty-three (18.5%) pharmacy students responded to the open-ended questions on the survey instrument. The most frequently reported gains from attending the session were recognition of teamwork importance to benefit the patient (30%) and understanding of other professionals' roles (29%). Shortfalls reported by students related to the content/style of presentation (26%) and technical/organizational (23%) aspects of the session. Pharmacy students who participated in one of the focus groups stated the session demonstrated the benefits as well as facilitators and barriers to collaborative care.

CONCLUSION: The session served as an effective introduction to IPE; debriefing and integration with uniprofessional curricula should occur. Students need additional small group interaction with other health professional students, and can contribute as members of the planning committee.

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