PITCH: What could students learn through a half-day interprofessional education programme using standardized patients for dementia care in clinical setting?
In Japan, the super aging society, undergraduate education in healthcare professions for dementia care is essential. At the same time, we emphasise the improvement of communication skills to fulfill the global standard attitude according to World Federation for Medical Education (WFME). Thus, interprofessional education (IPE) is necessary to learn teamwork and communication skills to collaborate the other professions. Nowadays, various IPE programmes are held worldwide, and it is so important that educators should reflect the effectiveness of the programme. The aim of this research was to explore what students can learn through a half-day interprofessional education (IPE) with standardized patients (SPs) for dementia care in clinical setting.
Participants were 113 medical, 77 pharmacy and 21 nursing students (N=211). They were divided into mixed professions’ groups. Each group was composed of two or three professions and the maximum number of students as one team was seven. All students learned and discussed the medical problems from the scenario that we prepared. Before meeting the SPs, the students noticed the hypoglycemia emergency episode in spite of high level of HbA1c because of the cognitive dysfunction. The goal of this IPE was making care plans for patients with dementia and explaining it to the SPs. Finally, all groups made their presentations to the SPs who gave the feedbacks. Educators explored both students’ presentations and SPs’ feedback whether the students’ care plans were accepted or not.
Almost all students could achieve mainly five tasks. 1. How should students tell the SPs bad news such as dementia? 2. Can students explain appropriate detail suggestions like social resources to the SPs? 3. Can students consider what medication is the best choice for the patients with dementia? 4. Can students consider patients’ life style? -What time do the patient and family eat every day? What kind of foods does the patient like? How much the patient does exercise? 5. Does students pay attention to mental care not only for the patients with dementia but also for their family? These five tasks brought the students making their care plans acceptable to the SPs.
This IPE programme needed to debate care plans for the elder patient with diabetes and cognitive dysfunction. We expected the group dynamics but revealed the two issues. First, many Japanese students did not get used to debate because they wanted to avoid the conflicts. However, overcoming the conflicts is essential for development of teamwork. Second, this IPE was held only two or three professions. In conclusion, this IPE programme was useful to promote teamwork and communication skills. The students would learn more social resources focusing on life style of the patient if further professions such as social work and nutritional science joined this IPE programme.