The Impact of Hidden Curriculum in Wilderness-Based Educational Events on Interprofessional Competencies: A Mixed-Method Study

Maurianne Reade, Marion Maar, Nicole Cardinal, Lisa Boesch, Sara Lacarte, Tara Rollins, Nicholas Jeeves


Background: The purpose of this study was to determine if interprofessional skills, attitudes, and behaviours could be learned during an austere medicine educational activity where interprofessionalism remained within the informal and hidden curriculum.

Methods and Findings: We used a mixed-methods approach to examine the potential acquisition of interprofessional competencies during wilderness medicine educational events. Thirty-four participants, over two events, completed interprofessional learner contracts, audio diary entries between patient scenarios, and the Interprofessional Collaborative Competency Attainment Survey (ICCAS) using a retrospective pre-test/post-test design. Audio diary entries showed the reflection that took place between scenarios during the orienteering portion of the event and the adjustments toward interprofessionalism that took place. Both the survey and audio diaries confirmed that participants perceived an improvement of their interprofessional competencies after the WildER Med event.

Conclusions: The outcomes confirm that interprofessional competencies can be developed during a learning event such as WildER Med, where the interprofessional curriculum is hidden. Austere medicine, which is at the base of this learning event, represents an opportunity for the further understanding and exploration of interprofessional education.


Interprofessional education; Informal curriculum; Hidden curriculum; Austere medicine; Mixed methods

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