Results from a 3-year study on interprofessional simulation learning

Guillaume Alinier, Colin Harwood, Patricia Harwood, Krishna Ruparelia, Eileen Huish, Susan Montague, Melina Antuofermo

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterpeer-review


    Introduction: Students often learn and acquire clinical experience in uni-professional groups; however simulated practice now offers an ideal context to provide students interprofessional experience in a safe and controlled environment.
    Hypothesis: Exposure to simulation will improve students' knowledge of other healthcare discipline roles and skills.
    Methods: Over 3 years, and following research ethical approval, 237 undergraduate volunteer students were involved in small groups to one of 30 3-hour interprofessional simulation sessions (1) using simulated patients and SimMan/SimBaby in a pre-hospital and clinical settings. Each session had 3-4 disciplines (Adult/Children/Learning Disability/Mental Health Nursing, Paramedic, Radiography, Physiotherapy, and Pharmacy) and each student observed and took part in one long and relevant student-lead, high-fidelity scenario (2) . Half the students were randomly selected to fill in a 40-item questionnaire testing their knowledge of other disciplines before the simulation (Control group) and the others after (Experimental group). Students were assessed on the questions of the disciplines represented in their session. The scenarios were designed based on the disciplines of the students attending each particular session and the scenario designers did not have specific knowledge of the
    questionnaire contents.
    Results: Both groups of students were comparable in terms of discipline mix, age, and gender. The results of the knowledge questionnaire for the control and experimental groups of students were respectively 72.69% (95% CI 70.64-74.73) and 75.92% (95% CI 73.73-78.10) based on the questions relating to the disciplines represented in each session. A t-test was used to compare the mean scores for which the p-value was 0.03. The relatively small score advantage of the experimental group over the control group is statistically significant when looking at the relevant subset of questions. As expected, there is almost no difference in scores between the two groups if the comparison is made over the questions from all the disciplines, that is even if they were not represented within the scenarios of a particular session.
    Discussion/Conclusion: The comparative analysis shows that students gained knowledge of other disciplines thanks to the scenarios and despite them not being necessarily addressing points raised by the pre-set questions about the different disciplines. Discussions during the debriefings highlighted the fact that inter-disciplinary training is important and valued by students. Despite the challenges, introducing it in the undergraduate curriculum should facilitate its implementation as Continuing Professional Development once these students become qualified healthcare professionals (3). We need to find a strategy to timetable these sessions in the students' curriculum when it is convenient for
    multiple disciplines to take part.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2011
    Event11th International Meeting on Simulation in Healthcare - New Orleans, LA, United States
    Duration: 22 Jan 201125 Jan 2011


    Conference11th International Meeting on Simulation in Healthcare
    Country/TerritoryUnited States
    CityNew Orleans, LA


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