Academic journal article American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education

Perceived Benefits and Challenges of Interprofessional Education Based on a Multidisciplinary Faculty Member Survey

Academic journal article American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education

Perceived Benefits and Challenges of Interprofessional Education Based on a Multidisciplinary Faculty Member Survey

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

In 2003, the Institute of Medicine published a report titled Health Professions Education: A Bridge to Quality, (1) which stressed the importance of integrating interprofessional experiences into health education and developing core competencies for interprofessional education (IPE). The recommendations involving IPE were based on observations that interdisciplinary collaboration may have a positive impact on patient care outcomes. (1-2) Since then, IPE strategies have been explored by many professional health programs in the United States. Prevalent examples of IPE include: working on interdisciplinary team-based patient cases or activities, rounding experiences, objective structured clinical exams (OSCEs), competitions, and outreach events. (3-7,8-11) While these IPE experiences are non-standardized and site-dependent, the majority of them have shown positive effects on student attitudes toward interdisciplinary teamwork. (3-6,8-12)

Similar to other health fields of study, US pharmacy programs have been charged with incorporating IPE into their curriculum. The Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) recently set forth revised Standards to include IPE initiatives as part of the criteria for accreditation. (13) Some of the potential barriers to IPE include lack of other professional health programs on campus or nearby, lack of perceived benefits of IPE, a need for increased training in delivering IPE, lack of institutional support of IPE, lack of cross-discipline curriculum structure and shared learning spaces, and scheduling conflicts among the different health professional programs. (2,14-17) While institutions have generally expressed interest in providing IPE experiences for students, many programs have struggled with the initial implementation process. (14-18) One struggle may be associated with the attitudes and perceptions of faculty members from other health disciplines, which can offer significant challenges for development and implementation. By definition, any IPE initiative requires involvement and participation of multiple disciplines, so faculty members from these programs must be "on board." A search of literature revealed limited data on faculty member thoughts and sentiments towards IPE implementation, (19-21) even though student opinions are well documented, (6,8,11,12) often with medical students expressing lower levels of enthusiasm for IPE relative to students in other professions.

This study evaluated faculty member perceptions of IPE and the perceived IPE implementation barriers across different health professional programs at Touro University in California (TUCA). The university has multiple health programs on campus, including a College of Osteopathic Medicine (COM), College of Pharmacy (COP), and a master's program in Physician Assistant Studies (PA). The goals of this study were to identify challenges perceived by faculty members in implementing IPE and to explore possible differences in perception among the faculty members at the different colleges.

METHODS

A survey was created in SurveyMonkey (SurveyMonkey Inc., Palo Alto, CA) to evaluate perceived barriers among faculty members across multiple health professional disciplines at TUCA regarding IPE implementation. The survey questions were developed from previously identified barriers reported in the literature including lack of established benefits of IPE, decreased enthusiasm towards IPE from medical faculty members and students, need for increased training in delivering IPE, lack of institutional support of IPE, and disagreement over the venues most conducive to IPE. A total of 19 questions on IPE barriers, along with 8 commonly requested demographic questions, were included in the final survey instrument. IPE opinion questions were 5-point Likert-based questions with a final question asking respondents to identify up to 5 of their top choices of IPE venues. The survey was pilot-tested on university employees considered nonfaculty members (ie, employees with administrative support duties). …

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