An innovative approach to assessing interprofessional knowledge:  Adapting key feature and objective structured encounters

Brewer-Deluce, Danielle; Rockarts, Jasmine; Palombella, Andrew; Monteiro, Sandra; Wainman, Bruce; Wojkowski, Sarah

Introduction: Since 2009, the Education Program in Anatomy has offered an interprofessional (IP) dissection course wherein health professional trainees (MD, MW, OT, PA, PT, RN, and SLP) participate in weekly anatomy and scope of practice presentations, case studies and anatomical dissections. Using the Interdisciplinary Education Perception (IEPS) and Readiness for IP Learning (RIPLS) scales, previous research has found increased attitudes and perceptions towards, and readiness for IP learning from pre- to post-course. This study aims to assess course graduates’ knowledge of IP scope of practice using a Key Features Exam (KFE), and the transference of IP skills out of the classroom and into a simulated team observed structured clinical encounter (TOSCE). IP skills and knowledge are not well assessed by conventional scales, and the KFE and TOSCE represent novel assessments, with the feasibility of implementation being considered with this pilot. In the KFE, students are presented with clinical vignettes and earn points for correctly identifying or omitting response options detailing health-related tasks a professional may perform within their scope of practice. In the TOSCE, IP teams are evaluated on their demonstration of IP competencies while formulating a care plan based upon a clinical chart.

Methods: Thirty-two course participants completed the RIPLS, IEPS and KFE both pre- and post-course as well as, a course-end TOSCE. Matched controls were recruited only at the course end, and completed all four assessments.

Results: Preliminary results based upon the pre-course KFE suggest significantly better knowledge about scope of practice for RN, PT and MW, and less-so for SLP, OT and social work (F(4.7, 144.9) = 12.453, p <0.05, η2 = 0.40). Further, KFE scores were significantly, but moderately, correlated with participants’ average RIPLS score (r (32) = 0.371, p = 0.037), but not IEPS or any RIPLS sub-score. Both KFE and TOSCE changes pre-post course and in comparison to matched controls remain as post-course data-collection is underway.

Conclusion: These preliminary results offer promising insight on students’ baseline IP knowledge alongside the potential to assess knowledge and skill change with a mastery-level IP exposure. Correlation data further suggests the KFE assesses independent competencies beyond that of RIPLS and IEPS. From a feasibility standpoint, this pilot supports the scalability of these tools to assess trainees across FHS over time.

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