Effectiveness of an “interprofessional diabetes education program” using a collaborative learning system in the Web campus on undergraduate healthcare professional students
To accomplish patient-centred care, interprofessional education (IPE) for healthcare professions is essential worldwide. However, IPE has numerous barriers to be implemented, for example physical distance among the stakeholders in the universities (spatial barriers and time barriers), and mutual lack of understanding because of their cultural differences (psychological barriers). We developed an innovative IPE course to overcome these barriers using a collaborative learning system in the Web campus. Web campus enabled participants to contact using on-line educational setting at any time, anywhere, which included chat system and video meeting. Multidisciplinary healthcare professional undergraduates learned about diabetes and made their original educational programme for people with diabetes. The aim of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of this IPE course using Web campus on undergraduate healthcare professional students.
This IPE course consisted of three types of educational settings (face to face workshop setting, on-line setting, and with real patient setting). Workshop was conducted for all participants in the first day (face to face workshop setting). The presentations of diabetes educational programme for people with diabetes were held in the final day (with real patient setting). Fifteen participants (four 5th year medical, three 5th year pharmacy, five 4th year nursing and three 3rd year nutrition students) were divided into three mixed professions’ groups. Each group discussed and made their original diabetes educational programme. All students could contact with the other students and consult educators using Web campus at any time (on-line setting). After this course, an interview was conducted involving students who had participated in this IPE, and the results were qualitatively analysed using the “Steps for Coding And Theorization” (SCAT) method. This study was approved by the Ethics Committee of Nagoya University School of Medicine.
Students’ experiences of on-line setting weakened their psychological barriers against students of the other professions, and helped them recognise the roles of their own profession and the other professions. Although some students had difficulties to use on-line setting because of their internet environment at home, they cooperated with the other professions’ students successfully as a team. Furthermore, the IPE course encouraged students to care for patients and develop close relationships with patients.
This IPE course using the Web campus effectively increased opportunities for the participants to interact with students of other professions and learn about the roles of many professionals in their own and other fields, as well as communication skills to cooperate with others. As Information and communication technologies (ICT) in medicine and healthcare has been required, IPE course using ICT in medical education will become more essential. In conclusion, IPE using Web campus enables the healthcare professions’ undergraduate students to reduce the barriers and awareness of importance to collaborate the other professions.