Evaluating students' perceptions of an interprofessional problem-based pilot learning project
Interprofessional teams provide the promise of effective, comprehensive and reliable care. Interprofessional education (IPE) promotes students' knowledge and attitudes to support interprofessional teamwork, and problem-based learning formats enable students to gain valuable teamwork experience.
To design, implement, and evaluate an interprofessional problem-based learning module in a large Canadian university focusing on the effects of this format on students' knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions. A pre-post mixed-methods research design was used, with a convenience sample of 24 students from medicine, pharmacy, nursing, physical therapy, and occupational therapy. Participants in the module were divided into 5 teams composed of one member from each discipline. Pre-tests were delivered just prior to module participation and post-tests directly followed. Students also participated in focus groups to provide feedback about module content, process, outcomes, and practical considerations.
Students' attitudes toward interprofessional teamwork improved from baseline to post-intervention. Mean differences were significant using paired t-tests on confidence in professional role (p <0.001), communication (p = 0.02), understanding roles of others (p = 0.002), identification with the team (p = 0.002), comfort with members (p = 0.047), cooperation with team members (p = 0.004), team perceptions (p = 0.04), decision-making (p <0.001), team efficiency (p <0.001), minimal conflict (p = 0.04), and group contributions (p = 0.03). Focus group themes indicated students were satisfied with the module, perceived increased knowledge about roles and perspectives, greater confidence to collaborate, and increased motivation to engage in intra-curricular IPE. The timing of their exposure within their respective educational programs was identified as important.
PubMed URL: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23224285