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Abstract

As the older adult population increases, it is vital to educate and train healthcare providers as members of interprofessional healthcare teams who can work effectively with these individuals. Ageism is a potential obstacle to achieving this goal. The purpose of this pre/post-test design pilot study was to determine the impact of an interprofessional geriatric training experience on the attitudes of future healthcare providers towards interprofessionalism and working with older adults. Sixteen graduate level students from occupational therapy and clinical psychology programs completed four interprofessional sessions with older adults residing in a long-term care facility. Quantitative data were gathered from pre/post-test scores on three instruments: (1) Self-Perceptions and Older Adults Questionnaire; (2) A Refined Version of Aging Semantic Differential; and (3) Readiness for Interprofessional Learning Scale. Results of paired sample t tests indicated that participants described older adults significantly more positively and their perceptions about working with older adults became significantly more positive following the interprofessional geriatric training experience. Additional data were gathered regarding participants’ perceptions of the interprofessional training experiences at the conclusion of the study. This feedback regarding students’ perceptions of the interprofessional geriatric training experiences indicated that the majority of the participants found the experiences with the older adults to be valuable and that the interprofessional learning activities helped them better understand the older adults. The results of this pilot study suggest that even short-term interprofessional experiences may have the ability to positively influence the attitudes of future healthcare providers regarding older adults.

Biography

Lisa Knecht-Sabres, DHS, OTR/L is a Professor in the Occupational Therapy Program at Midwestern University. Dr. Knecht-Sabres earned her DHS degree from the University of Indianapolis and her B.S. and M.S. degrees from the University of Illinois. Dr. Knecht-Sabres has presented and published her research nationally and internationally.

Minetta Wallingford, DrOT, MHS, OTR/L is an Associate Professor and Director of Clinical Education for Midwestern University. Dr. Wallingford has extensive experience in teaching and coordinating fieldwork education for academic occupational therapy programs. She has presented and published nationally on topics related to clinical education, evidence-based practice, and geriatrics.

Michelle M. Lee, Ph.D., ABPP, is a Professor in the Department of Behavioral Sciences at Midwestern University and the Associate Program Director of the Clinical Psychology Program. She earned her B.A. in Psychology from Northwestern University and received her M.A. and Ph.D. in from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH.

James F. Gunn, MMS, PA-C, is an Associate Professor and the Interim Program Director of the Midwestern University Physician Assistant Program located in Downers Grove, IL.

Esperanza M. Anaya, Ph.D., earned her Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology from Indiana University, Bloomington. Currently, Dr. Anaya serves as Assistant Program Director of Health Service Psychology at Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences.

Sarah E. Getch, Ph.D. earned her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the Illinois Institute of Technology, and completed both her pre-doctoral internship and postdoctoral fellowship at Northwestern Memorial Hospital/Feinberg School of Medicine. Currently, Dr. Getch serves as Director of Health Service Psychology at Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences.

Nathaniel Krumdick, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the Behavioral Sciences department at Midwestern University. He earned his PhD in Applied Social Psychology from Loyola University Chicago. His research interests include attitudes, persuasion, and models of behavior change.

Gloria Workman, Ph.D., is an adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. Prior to working in various governmental positions, Dr. Workman was on faculty at Midwestern University. She received her undergraduate degree from Loyola University and her doctoral degree from DePaul University, Chicago.

Declaration of Interest

The authors report no declarations of interest.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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