Assessment of Nursing and Medical Students' Attitudes Toward Interprofessional Education

Friday, 26 July 2013: 10:15 AM

Karen S. Yehle, PhD, MS, RN, FAHA1
Marwa Noureldin, PharmD, MS2
Kimberly Sanders2
Kimberly S. Plake, PhD, RPh2
(1)School of Nursing, College of Health and Human Sciences, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
(2)Department of Pharmacy Practice, College of Pharmacy, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

Learning Objective 1: The learner will be able to describe nursing and medical students' attitudes toward interprofessional education before and after completing an aging simulation game.

Learning Objective 2: The learner will be able to describe components of interprofessional education activities.

Purpose: Providing opportunities for interprofessional education for students in the health professions is supported by the Interprofessional Education Collaborative. It is imperative for healthcare professionals to communicate and collaborate in teams, and understand each profession’s roles and responsibilities. The purpose of this project was to examine the impact of participating in an aging simulation game on nursing and medical students’ attitudes toward interprofessional education.

 Methods: Nursing and medical students were paired together to play an aging simulation game, role playing older adults and navigating the healthcare system. Pre/post changes in attitudes toward interprofessional learning were measured using the Readiness for Interprofessional Learning Scale (RIPLS; 19 items, Likert-type). The RIPLS has 4 subscales (Teamwork and Collaboration, 9 items, α=0.88; Negative Professional Identity, 3 items, α=0.76; Positive Professional Identity, 4 items, α=0.81; Roles and Responsibilities, 3 items, α=0.43). Pre/post paired t-test analyses were performed using IBM SPSS v. 20.0. 

 Results: Thirty-six nursing and 15 medical students' attitudes toward interprofessional learning improved significantly in all 4 items of the subscale Positive Professional Identity: item 13 “Shared learning with other healthcare students will help me to communicate better with patients and other professionals” (p=0.031), item 14 “I would welcome the opportunity to work on small group projects with other healthcare students” (p=0.025), item 15 “Shared learning will help to clarify the nature of patient problems” (p=0.002), and item16 “Shared learning before licensure will help me become a better team worker” (p=0.017). In subscale Teamwork and Collaboration, item 4 approached statistical significance (p=0.055). Improvements were seen on all other items in the instrument but were not statistically significant.

 Conclusion: After collaborating together during an aging simulation game, nursing and medical students’ attitudes significantly improved on 4 of 19 RIPLS items. The RIPLS provides means to assess changes in student attitudes toward interprofessional education.