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J Interprof Care. 2017 Sep 25:1-4. doi: 10.1080/13561820.2017.1356811. [Epub ahead of print]

Facilitators and barriers to students' learning in an obesity prevention graduate program.

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a Asian American Studies , University of Maryland , College Park , Maryland , USA.
b Social & Behavioral Sciences Research Consortium , University of Nebraska - Lincoln , Lincoln , Nebraska , USA.
c Child, Youth & Family Studies , University of Nebraska - Lincoln , Lincoln , Nebraska , USA.
d Nutrition & Health Sciences , University of Nebraska - Lincoln , Lincoln , Nebraska USA.
e Department of Human Nutrition , Winthrop University , Rock Hill , South Carolina , USA.


Childhood obesity is a major public health concern with underpinnings at the individual, family, community and societal levels. The Transdisciplinary Childhood Obesity Prevention Graduate Certificate Program (TOP) is an innovative graduate-level certificate program developed to train professionals to understand and address obesity from multiple perspectives using an interprofessional education (IPE) approach. Currently, there is limited knowledge on what promotes or hinders learning in IPE approaches dealing with obesity prevention. The goal of this report is to address this gap by describing facilitators and barriers to learning in a graduate-level training program. Using a qualitative research design, semi-structured interviews were collected from 23 professional students, as part of a larger program evaluation project for TOP. Thematic analysis revealed the challenges and strengths of the program that relate specifically to: its interprofessional approach, its structure, and its activities. Interprofessional exchanges were reported to expand students' learning, but adequate interprofessional representation must be maintained, and the complexity of interprofessional collaborations must also be well-coordinated. Standardising the program structure and courses for consistency across professions, and clear communication are critical to program success. Findings add to the existing literature on what promotes effective learning in a professional obesity prevention program using an IPE approach.


Childhood obesity; evaluation; interprofessional education; prevention; professional training

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