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Curriculum, Instruction, and Pedagogy ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Public Health | doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2019.00058

Developing a Framework for Population Health in Interprofessional Training: An Interprofessional Education Module

  • 1Department of Nutritional Sciences, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, United States
  • 2University of Michigan, United States
  • 3Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, United States
  • 4Department of Health Behavior, Health Education, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, United States

Interprofessional education (IPE) is based on the concept that health professional students are best trained on the skills, knowledge and attitudes that promote population health when they learn with and about others from diverse health science fields. Previously, IPE has focused almost exclusively on the clinical context. This study piloted and evaluated an IPE learning experience that emphasizes population health in a sample of public health undergraduate students. We hypothesized that students who completed the two-hour online asynchronous module would better understand the value of public health’s role in interprofessional teams, the benefit of interprofessional team work in improving health outcomes, and the value of collaborative learning with other interprofessional students. Students engaged in pre- and post-training assessments and individual reflections throughout the module.

Sixty-seven undergraduate public health students completed the module and assessments. After completion, a greater proportion strongly agreed that students from different health science disciplines should be educated in the same setting to form collaborative relationships with one another (19% and 39% before and after completion, respectively). A greater proportion also strongly agreed that care delivered by an interprofessional team would benefit the health outcomes of a patient/client after the training (60% vs. 75% before and after, respectively). Mean scores describing how strongly students agreed with the above two statements significantly increased post-training.

A greater proportion of students strongly agreed that incorporating the public health discipline as part of an interprofessional team is crucial to address the social determinants of health for individual health outcomes after taking the training (40% vs. 55% before and after, respectively). There was little change in attitudes about the importance of incorporating public health as part of an interprofessional team to address social determinants of health for population health outcomes, which were strongly positive before the training.

Most students reported being satisfied with the module presentation and felt their understanding of interprofessional practice improved. This training may be useful for students from all health disciplines to recognize the benefits of engaging with and learning from public health students and to recognize the important role of public health in interprofessional practices.

Keywords: interprofessional education, Interprofessional learning, Interdisciplinary, Public Health, professional skills, Teamwork, population health, undergraduate education

Received: 15 Nov 2018; Accepted: 26 Feb 2019.

Edited by:

Andrew Harver, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, United States

Reviewed by:

Iffat Elbarazi, United Arab Emirates University, United Arab Emirates
Larry K. Olsen, Logan College of Chiropractic, United States
Richard M. Schwartzstein, Harvard Medical School, United States  

Copyright: © 2019 Anderson, August, Goldberg, Youatt and Beck. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Ella August, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, United States,