Purpose: Poverty simulations in health professions education involving multiple disciplines have been studied, but the impact of poverty simulations on interprofessional attitudes has been surprisingly neglected. The purpose of this study was to determine the impact of the Cost of Poverty Experience simulation on attitudes toward interprofessional communication, learning, and collaboration, while still positively impacting attitudes toward poverty. Methods: Poverty simulations were held annually at a private midwestern university involving students from multiple disciplines inside and outside healthcare. Debriefing questions related to professional roles and teamwork were used to promote discussions between students from different professions about caring for clients experiencing poverty. Data from the 2017-19 events are detailed in this article. Over the three years, 325 students participated in the study. The University of West England Interprofessional Questionnaire and the Attitudes Toward Poverty Short Form were administered pre-and post-intervention. Results: The University of West England Interprofessional Questionnaire showed a significant (ppConclusions: The interprofessional poverty simulation experience positively impacted attitudes toward interprofessional communication and relationships while still significantly improving attitudes toward poverty. This finding adds to the literature by demonstrating that interprofessional poverty simulations can positively impact attitudes toward interprofessional communication and relationships when debriefing questions guide discussions about interprofessional roles and teams in caring for those living in poverty.

Author Bio(s)

Barbara L. Wise, PhD, FNP-BC, is an Associate Professor in the School of Nursing at Indiana Wesleyan University. She is also a licensed Family Nurse Practitioner in the state of Ohio.

Katti J. Sneed, PhD, LCSW, MSW, LCAC, is the Director of Masters in Social Work Program at Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion Indiana. She was a founding faculty member in launching the Poverty Simulation.

Ruth A. Eby, DNP, RNC, is Dean of Doctoral Nursing at Indiana Wesleyan University and participates on the interprofessional task force. In hospital practice, Ruth contributed to interprofessional collaborative practice for patient care and staff education in L&D. Her doctoral work was on interprofessional education for faculty.

Rhonda K. Oldham, DNP, RN, is faculty in the Doctor of Nursing Practice Program at Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion. She is a registered nurse licensed in the states of Kentucky and Illinois.


The authors would like to acknowledge the thorough and extremely helpful critical review of the article by Rosanne Thomas, PT, PhD




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