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Teamwork among diverse healthcare professions is characteristic of rehabilitation medicine. Interprofessional education (IPE) can better prepare medical students to work with other professionals as they transition to clinical practice. This study sought to identify effects of IPE experiences on medical student attitudes regarding work with interdisciplinary healthcare teams.
A longitudinal study using the Interprofessional Attitudes Scale (IPAS) at 5 timepoints (prior to the first IPE session, and after each subsequent IPE session), throughout medical school, was conducted to investigate whether medical student perspectives of other health professions changed throughout the IPE curriculum. Individually paired T-testing was used to investigate changes in student attitudes throughout IPE training. Individual Wilcoxon Signed Rank tests analyzed subcategory responses.
Medical students participated in campus-based IPE workshops, medical home visits with an interprofessional team, and clinical rotations. All surveys were conducted online.
Class of 2019 medical student cohort from a single university.
Main Outcome Measures
IPAS survey scores.
Significance was noted in ‘Teamwork, Roles and Responsibilities’ (p = .0075) between the pre-MS1 and post-MS2 IPAS surveys. Subcategory analysis showed significant attitude changes within: ‘Shared learning before graduation will help me become a better team worker’ (p = 0.0001), ‘Shared learning will help me think positively about other professionals’ (p = 0.0049), ‘Learning with other students will help me become a more effective member of a health care team’ (p = 0.0016), ‘Shared learning with other health sciences students will help me communicate better with patients and other professionals’ (p = 0.0020), and ‘I would welcome the opportunity to work on small-group projects with other health sciences students’ (p = 0.0001).
IPE curriculum including embedded clinical practice, not solely didactic experiences, produces meaningful changes in students’ attitudes regarding team-based healthcare. Rehabilitation medicine requires cooperation among professions, and understanding of different roles/responsibilities, to optimize clinical outcomes. IPE may help students understand different roles/responsibilities and effectively prepare for interdisciplinary patient care.
Authors have no conflicts.
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