Purpose: The Interprofessional Education Collaborative Expert Panel (IPEC) has identified four competencies essential for interprofessional functioning in the health professions. Those four competencies are (a) values/ethics for interprofessional practice, (b) roles/responsibilities, (c) interprofessional communication, and (d) teams and teamwork. Design of effective curricula to develop competence in these skills will improve interprofessional functioning in healthcare. The purpose of this study at a small northeastern university was to examine impact of a small group interprofessional education (IPE) curriculum on student awareness of one of the competencies, understanding roles and responsibilities. Methods: The quantitative study data consisted of student completion of a 13-item self-report questionnaire based on the four competencies of IPE after participating in two interprofessional events in the same semester (one large group introductory event and one small group case event). Students were enrolled in professional educational programs, including counseling psychology, nursing, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and physician assistant. Students were divided into groups of 8-10 students from participating academic programs forming interprofessional groups. They completed a 13-item self-report questionnaire based on the four competencies after each of the two events. Results: Results of Multivariate Analysis of Variance (MANOVA) revealed a significant difference between the first and second events, multivariate F (13, 476) = 24.61, p = .000. Results of univariate ANOVAs revealed significant differences for each variable, with scores from the case study session higher on each item than scores for the opening event. Factor analysis of data from the opening event yielded a single factor, which accounted for 63.4% of the variance in the scale. Factor analysis of data from the small group case event also yielded a single factor accounting for 65.9% of scale variance. Cronbach’s alpha revealed a very high internal consistency of .951 and.952, for the two events respectively. Conclusions: IPE events can positively increase self-report measures of IPE competencies. The assessment tool used may have measured one overarching construct of collaboration. The tool represents an initial effort toward measurement of each of the four specific competencies, an area in need of refinement. This study demonstrated impact of IPE events housed within an IPE curriculum.

Author Bio(s)

Anthony Goreczny, PhD, is a Professor in psychology at Chatham University in Pittsburgh, PA.

Melissa L. Bednarek, PT, DPT, PhD, is an assistant professor in Physical Therapy at Chatham University.

Susan R. Hawkins, MSEd, PA-C, is an Associate Professor and PBL Coordinator in the Physician Assistant program at Chatham University.

Mark L. Hertweck, MA, PA-C, is an Associate Professor and Community Development Coordinator in the Physician Assistant program at Chatham University.

Jodi Schreiber, OTD, OTR/L, is an Assistant Professor in Occupational Therapy at Chatham University.

Susan E. Sterrett, EdD, RN, is an Assistant Professor of Nursing at Chatham University.




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