Effectiveness of interprofessional education by on-field training for medical students, with a pre-post design
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Abstract Background Interprofessional Education (IPE) implies how to achieve successful teamwork, and is based on collaborative practice which enhance occasions for relationships between two or more healthcare professions. This study evaluates the effectiveness of IPE in changing attitudes after a training recently introduced to medical education for second-year students at the University of Padova, Italy. Methods All medical students following a new program for IPE were enrolled in this study. The Interdisciplinary Education Perception Scale (IEPS) was administered before and after training, according to observation-based and practice-based learning. Data were analysed with Student's paired t-test and Wilcoxon's signed rank test. Results 277 medical students completed both questionnaires. Statistically significant improvements were found in students' overall attitudes as measured by the IEPS and four subscale scores. Gender-stratified analyses showed that improvements were observed only in female students in subscale 4 (“Understanding Others’ Values”). Students who had a physician and/or health worker in their family did not show any improvement in subscales 2 (“Perceived need for cooperation”) or 4 (“Understanding Others’ Values”). Conclusions Our results indicate that IPE training has a positive influence on students’ understanding of collaboration and better attitudes in interprofessional teamwork. More research is needed to explore other factors which may influence specific perceptions among medical students.