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J Allied Health. 2013 Summer;42(2):120-4.

Effect of the health mentors program on student attitudes toward team care.

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  • 1Jefferson School of Nursing, Thomas Jefferson University, 901 Walnut Street Suite 811, Philadelphia, PA 19107, USA.


Based on a growing body of literature documenting improved cost and quality outcomes related to good team care, interprofessional education (IPE) has been widely endorsed as critical to preparing the future healthcare workforce. This study evaluated the effect of a longitudinal team-based 2-year IPE curriculum on attitudes toward health care teams. Analyses included comparison of baseline measures to the end of the 2-year curriculum of each of the six participating disciplines (medicine, nursing, occupational therapy, pharmacy, physical therapy, and couple and family therapy). Differences between the disciplines were also analyzed. A significant improvement on a 14-item quality of care and teamwork of health professionals subscale of the Attitudes Toward Health Care Teams scale was found. Students surveyed in each of the six disciplines demonstrated significant improvements in attitudes toward quality of care and teamwork from the baseline measure at the beginning of the IPE program to the end of the 2-year program. There were no significant differences noted between disciplines. Assessment of attitudes toward health care teams assisted in evaluation and ongoing quality improvement of the IPE program and could potentially be used in other interprofessional programs that focus on health care teamwork. Next steps include longitudinal assessment of students throughout their programs and into practice to explore the sustainability of attitudes and behaviors, as well as impact on patient outcomes.

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