Determining the Efficacy of an Interprofessional Educational Intervention for Teamwork Competencies with Nursing Students

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Interprofessional education (IPE) is recognized widely as an essential component to improving patient outcomes but little progress has been made toward understanding the impact of specific educational interventions on interprofessional competencies. To guide healthcare educators in the implementation of effective IPE strategies, additional research using rigorous methodology is necessary. The purpose of this study was to assess the effectiveness of an educational intervention aimed at improving subjects’ interprofessional teamwork competencies. A quasi-experimental, pre and posttest design was used to evaluate the effect of two approaches to an educational intervention. The first approach combined nursing (n = 16), physical therapy (n = 6), and pharmacy students (n = 3); the second approach involved only nursing students (n = 17). The Team Skills Scale was used before and after the intervention to measure interprofessional teamwork competencies. Open-ended questions were used following the intervention to elicit subjects’ views. Findings of the study indicate that both approaches were effective in improving interprofessional teamwork competencies. Statistically significant increases in Team Skills Scale posttest scores were noted for both the treatment and control groups. However, posttest scores were significantly higher in the treatment group than the control group, indicating that the face-to-face interaction that took place between students of different professions had a greater impact on achieving interprofessional teamwork competencies. Themes that emerged from the open-ended questions support the quantitative findings of the study, indicating that the exercise was beneficial in improving teamwork competencies. The findings of this study suggest that more than one approach to an educational intervention can be effective in improving interprofessional teamwork competencies. Future research should continue to explore the effectiveness of different educational approaches and include longitudinal studies to assess effects over time.

Interprofessional education