Duffy PA, Ronnebaum JA, Stumbo TA, Smith KN, Reimer RA. Does Including Public Health Students on Interprofessional Teams Increase Attainment of Interprofessional Practice Competencies?. J Am Osteopath Assoc 2017;117(4):244-252. doi: 10.7556/jaoa.2017.042.
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Context: Interprofessional education (IPE) creates dynamic experiential learning that can address social determinants of health that influence health outcomes.
Objective: To examine the effects of including public health students on IPE teams on the interprofessional practice domain constructs (values/ethics, roles/responsibilities, interprofessional communication, and teams and teamwork).
Methods: This single-case, mixed-methods study was performed using a grounded theory approach. Students from 8 graduate health sciences programs participated in an asynchronous, 6-week, online IPE learning activity. Three of the 4 interprofessional practice domain constructs were examined as outcome variables: participants’ biomedical vs biopsychosocial patient approach (values/ethics); reported change in attitudes, beliefs, or values about other health professions (roles/responsibilities); and anticipated changes in future professional behaviors/interactions/approaches (teams and teamwork). Predictor variables were having an MPH participant on the IPE team, participants’ enrollment in a clinical or nonclinical program, and student perception of the online format (interprofessional communication).
Results: Three hundred nineteen students were included, 261 from clinical and 58 from nonclinical programs. A significant association was found between having an MPH participant on the IPE teams and participants’ awareness of the influence of social determinants of health (OR, 2.04; 95% CI, 1.13-3.66; P<.05). Program type was also significantly associated with awareness of the influence of social determinants of health, such that participants in nonclinical programs were significantly more likely to report the importance of social determinants of health in the care plan (OR, 3.68; 95% CI, 1.38-9.84; P<.01). Participants were significantly less likely to report future behavior change if they were in clinical programs (OR, 0.44; 95% CI, 0.23-0.86; P<.05) or if they disliked the online format (OR, 0.25; 95% CI, 0.14-0.42; P<.01). The model fit the data well (χ23=30.80; P<.001).
Conclusion: Inclusion of MPH students on IPE teams has the potential to increase clinical participants’ awareness of the influence of social determinants of health and interest in incorporating a biopsychosocial approach to health care.
Keywords: interprofessional education, interprofessional practice, public health, social determinants of health
a Data are presented as No. (%) of responses.
Abbreviations: MPH, master of public health; SDOH, social determinants of health.
a Likelihood ratio test, χ23= 52.12; P<.001.
b Likelihood ratio test, χ23= 20.72; P<.001.
c Likelihood ratio test, χ23= 30.80; P<.001.
Abbreviations: IPE, interprofessional education; MPH, master of public health.
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