Model approaches for advancing interprofessional prevention education

Clyde H Evans, Suzanne B Cashman, Donna A Page, David R Garr
American Journal of Preventive Medicine 2011, 40 (2): 245-60
Healthy People 2010 included an objective to "increase the proportion of … health professional training schools whose basic curriculum for healthcare providers includes the core competencies in health promotion and disease prevention." Interprofessional prevention education has been seen by the Healthy People Curriculum Task Force as a key strategy for achieving this objective and strengthening prevention content in health professions education programs. To fulfill these aims, the Association for Prevention Teaching and Research sponsored the Institute for Interprofessional Prevention Education in 2007 and in 2008. The institutes were based on the premise that if clinicians from different professions are to function effectively in teams, health professions students need to learn with, from, and about students from other professions. The institutes assembled interprofessional teams of educators from academic health centers across the country and provided instruction in approaches for improving interprofessional prevention education. Interprofessional education also plays a key role in implementation of Healthy People 2020 Education for Health framework. The delivery of preventive services provides a nearly level playing field in which multiple professions each make important contributions. Prevention education should take place during that phase of the educational continuum in which the attitudes, skills, and knowledge necessary for both effective teamwork and prevention are incorporated into the "DNA" of future health professionals. Evaluation of the teams' educational initiatives holds important lessons. These include allowing ample time for planning, obtaining student input during planning, paying explicit attention to teamwork, and taking account of cultural differences across professions.

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