Interprofessional learning sessions: Assessing the impact on medical and pharmacy students
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Aims To investigate the feasibility of introducing interprofessional learning (IPL) sessions between senior medical and pharmacy students and to assess their impact. Background IPL increases students' awareness and ability to work as members of the health professional team. It may improve collaboration between prescribers and dispensers, which has been identified as crucial in achieving quality use of medicines. Method Six two-hour IPL sessions were scheduled throughout 2008, giving each medical and pharmacy student an opportunity to participate in one session. Students obtained a medical and medication history from a trained simulated patient in a pre-admission setting. Pre- and post-surveys assessed students' perceptions of their knowledge levels in relation to the clinical topic and their attitudes towards interprofessional collaboration. The post-survey also rated their 'readiness' for IPL on the Readiness for Interprofessional Learning Scale (RIPLS). Results 90 medical and 56 pharmacy students completed the surveys (93% and 88% response rates). Both groups of students showed a significant improvement in self-rated knowledge levels (P<0.0001) but neither showed significant change in attitudes concerning interprofessional collaboration. After the exercise, pharmacy students showed significantly higher RIPLS scores (mean = 3.0) than medical students (mean = 2.8, P = 0.0002). Conclusions IPL sessions improved self-perceived knowledge. Participants' generally positive attitudes towards interprofessional collaboration at enrolment did not improve further during the exercise. It is feasible to include IPL sessions as part of medical and pharmacy training but this design did not impact on attitudes to interprofessional collaboration. Key words: (3-10) Interprofessional learning, pharmacy, medicine, education, teaching, health, curriculum
Focus on Health Professional Education: A Multi-disciplinary Journal
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Medicine, Nursing and Health Curriculum and Pedagogy