Through Teaching Are We Learning? Learning Through Teaching: Facilitating Interprofessional Education Experiences

Ruby Grymonpre, Kristel van Ineveld, Michelle Nelson, Amy DeJaeger, Theresa Sullivan, Fiona Jensen, Leah Weinberg, Jenneth Swinamer, Ann Booth


Background: Despite a growing recognition of the value of collaborative patientcentred practice (CPCP) there is a lack of evidence identifying key elements and approaches to an effective interprofessional (IP) education intervention for clinical team members. The present study was conducted to address the paucity of rigorous mixed methods research to address the question: Does clinician team facilitation and mentorship of senior pre-licensure learners participating in IP clinical placements improve team members' attitudes, knowledge, skills, and perceived behaviours in CPCP?
Methods: Based on the assumption that Geriatric Day Hospital clinical teams were already highly collaborative, educational experiences for clinical team members were not designed a priori. Rather, the educational experience was grounded in Mezirow's transformative learning theory, proposing that learning is a process of becoming aware of one's assumptions and revising these assumptions based on critical self-reflection. The option to participate in structured observation and feedback by an external observer using the Team Observation Scale provided important and unique opportunities for team reflection. Using the Controlled Before and After (CBA) design, the Attitudes Toward Health Care Teams Scale (ATHCTS), Team Skills Scale (TSS), and Knowledge Questionnaire were administered pre- and post-clinical placements to intervention and control groups. Data were analyzed by descriptive, bivariate, and repeated measures ANOVA. Qualitative data (evaluation and self-reflective forms) were analyzed using content analysis techniques.
Results: Eleven IP clinical placements at 3 sites occurred between January 2007 and March 2008 (intervention N = 48; control N = 7). There was no significant change over time between intervention and control groups for the ATHCTS Quality of Care or Physician Centrality subscale scores, the TSS scores, or the Knowledge scores. Qualitative results suggested that participants were more aware of IP teaming, reflective of their own practice, and reported making changes in their own practice and mentorship of students as a result of their engagement in the study.
Conclusions: This study demonstrated the viability of using structured observation and feedback processes as a reflective learning exercise. Further research is required to help identify key approaches and elements to an effective IPE intervention in clinical practice.


Interprofessional, clinical education, team, patient-centred, transformative learning

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