Interprofessional Education for Geriatric Care

About the Interprofessional Education in Geriatric Care (IEGC) Program

The Interprofessional Education in Geriatric Care Project (IEGC) is a two year, nine month project (July 2005 – March 2008) funded by Health Canada. As 1 of 20 national projects researching interprofessional education for collaborative patient-centred practice (IECPCP), IEGC project team members are hoping to develop a sustainable IECPCP opportunity in the area of community based geriatric care.

Based at the University of Manitoba, the IEGC Project focuses on three sets of learners—students, clinical teams, and faculty—educating each learning group on how to become more effective as a group through interprofessional teaming by learning with, from, and about each other. Initially, students were identified as the primary learners; the project team realized that the participating faculty members and clinical team members also had learning needs of their own. Three learner domains identify and provide the interprofessional education (IPE) needs for each of the identified learners in the IEGC Project.

Determining the effectiveness of (IPE) is completed through the research component that focuses on bringing together senior pre-licensure students from five disciplines: medicine, nursing, occupational and physical therapy, and pharmacy to learn teaming skills in one of three community based geriatric day hospitals (Deer Lodge Centre, Riverview Health Centre, St. Boniface General Hospital) in Winnipeg, Manitoba at the same time.

What makes the IEGC Project unique from other IECPCP projects is that student placements are embedded into the traditional student placements at the clinical sites. Over 4 weeks, students spend 15 hours learning with, from and about each other with a focus on learning more about interprofessional teaming in a real world setting. The students receive mentoring, do hands-on projects, and learn how to model team behaviours from the clinical team at the Day Hospitals. Particular emphasis is placed on learning about the roles of other professionals, how to collaborate with these professionals, and developing the necessary attitudes and behaviours to make a team function.

The first group of student learners participated in the IEGC Program in January 2006, with experiential blocks and IEGC modules offered approximately 3 or 4 times per year at participating day hospitals. The last experiential block was completed in December 2007. During this time, 32 students, 48 clinical team members, and 7 faculty members have participated in the project.

To evaluate any changes in project participants’, the research focuses on obtaining information about participants’ general feedback of the experience, long term viability and sustainability, and exhibited changes in knowledge, skills, and attitudes by using a mixed method approach. Evaluating the changes related to IPE was completed through the use of 17 tools adapted, created, or revised to assess six general areas of evaluation as modified by the JET/Kirkpatrick model by looking at the experiences of the IEGC Project participants: students, faculty, clinical teams, administrators, and clients. Data collected was assessed using qualitative and quantitative data.

Background to IECPCP

In 2002, Commissioner Roy Romanow proposed changes to ensure the long-term sustainability of Canada's health care system in the Final Report, Building on Values: The Future of Health Care in Canada. The Commission on the Future of Health Care’s mandate was "to engage Canadians in a national dialogue on the future of heath care and to make recommendations to preserve the long-term sustainability of Canada's universally accessible, publicly funded health care system" (Health Canada 2003).

To address the issues brought forth by the commission, the 2003 First Ministers’ Accord on Health Care Renewal identified interdisciplinary education for collaborative patient-centered practice as "one of three mechanisms that address current and emerging health and human resource issues, and as a mechanism to ensure that health providers have the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to practice in this different paradigm" (Health Canada, 2004, p.32). The identification of interdisciplinary education for collaborative patient-centered practice led Health Canada to place an initial call for proposals in 2003-2004 (Cycle 1) for interprofessional learning projects.

Dr. Ruby Grymonpre (Principal Investigator), Dr. Cornelia van Ineveld and Dr. Elizabeth Boustcha (Co-Investigators) received funding for the Interprofessional Educational for Collaborative Patient Centred Practice (IECPCP) Health Canada-funded project that is studying the impact of collaborative interprofessional teaming education amongst five different health disciplines: medicine, nursing, pharmacy, occupational therapy, and physical therapy.

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Last updated: March 24, 2008