Preparing Social Work Students for Interprofessional Practice in Geriatric Health Care: Insights from Two Approaches

Robin Bonifas, Amanda K. Gray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

Although several interprofessional education projects have addressed training allied health students for effective teamwork in geriatrics, few curriculum evaluation studies have examined differences in learning outcomes between interprofessional and traditional uniprofessional approaches, especially for social work students. This paper compares and contrasts two brief curriculum models designed to prepare graduate social work students for interdisciplinary collaboration in geriatric health care. The first model is an interprofessional approach that brings together students from social work, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, and nutrition for an interactive session on interdisciplinary care. The second model is a uniprofessional approach that addresses interdisciplinary collaboration within a traditional social work practice course. A pretest/posttest quasiexperimental design was employed to examine differences between the two curriculum approaches in terms of changes in social work students' attitudes and values toward interdisciplinary teamwork and their understanding of the roles and training requirements of multidisciplinary colleagues. Results indicate that students in the interprofessional curriculum (n = 69) made significant gains in their attitudes and values toward interdisciplinary collaboration but not in their understanding of the roles and training of other disciplines. Conversely, students in the uniprofessional curriculum (n = 19) made significant improvement in their recognition of individual team members' professional roles but experienced minimal change in their attitudes and values toward interdisciplinary collaboration. Findings suggest an interprofessional approach is most conducive to changing students' appreciation and understanding of the importance of interdisciplinary teams, but personal engagement with content on interdisciplinary roles and training is essential for mastery of this knowledge.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)476-490
Number of pages15
JournalEducational Gerontology
Volume39
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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