Title

Evaluation of an interprofessional education program for advanced practice nursing and dental students: The oral-systemic health connection

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

7-1-2018

Abstract

Background: In response to the growing body of evidence supporting the need for expanded interprofessional education among health professions, an interprofessional education program, based on the Interprofessional Education Collaborative Core Competencies, was piloted with nurse practitioner and dental students. Objectives: The purpose of this pilot study was to evaluate a technology enhanced interprofessional education program focused on the oral-systemic health connection for nurse practitioner and dental students. Design: A two-group comparative study using cross-sectional data and a quasi-experimental one-group pre-test/post-test design were used to evaluate students' knowledge of IPE core competencies, attitudes toward interprofessional education and interdisciplinary teamwork, and self-efficacy in functioning as a member of an interdisciplinary team. Setting and participants: This program was implemented with master of science in nursing students pursuing a primary care nurse practitioner (NP) degree and dental students at a large urban academic health sciences center. Cohort 1 (N = 75) consisted of NP (n = 34) and dental students (n = 41) at the end of their degree program who participated in a one-time survey. Cohort 2 (N = 116) was comprised of second-year NP students (n = 22) and first-year dental students (n = 94) who participated in the IPE program. Methods: Students participated in a multi-faceted educational program consisting of technology- enhanced delivery as well as interactive exercises in the joint health assessment course. Data were collected prior to the initiation and at the conclusion of the program. Results: Nurse practitioner and dental students who participated in the program had better self-efficacy in functioning as a member of an interdisciplinary team than graduating students who did not participate. Students from both nursing and dentistry who participated in the program had significantly improved self-efficacy in functioning in interprofessional teams from pre- to post-test. Conclusion: An interprofessional education program can be a valuable addition to the health professions curriculum of nurse practitioner and dental students. Care must be taken to address logistical issues when working with students in different academic programs.

DOI

10.1016/j.nedt.2018.03.021

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