The role of interprofessional education within the medical undergraduate palliative care curriculum : a systematic review

Jeffery, Natalie Faye

June 2016

Thesis or dissertation

© 2016 Natalie Faye Jeffery. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

In the near future, population changes will impact on palliative care provision. We have to evolve to meet patients’ changing needs. Part of this evolution is to develop the role of the multidisciplinary team to provide patient-centred care. This highlights a learning need within medical education which can be achieved through the development of collaboration skills. Interprofessional education (IPE) has been utilised as a pedagogic tool by health professions in order to enhancing such skills.

To identify and synthesis evidence on the use of IPE as a method of delivering palliative care teaching to undergraduate medical students.

Primary studies were identified by searching bibliographic databases; MEDLINE, EMBASE, AMED, CINAHL, ERIC, BEI, BNI, PsychINFO, CENTRAL and the index of thesis and dissertations (UK) from January 1993 to February 2015. This was augmented by searching references from the preliminary search and key conference proceedings. Studies were included if the educational initiative was attended by two or more professions, including undergraduate medical students. A narrative synthesis of identified studies was performed with Kirkpatrick’s hierarchy of evaluation as a framework to assess learning outcomes. Data-driven thematic analysis was performed and a thematic schema created to illustrate the factors underpinning IPE.

Eleven studies were identified. Significant variability in study quality was observed. Overall IPE was generally well received by students and facilitators. A positive response to educational initiatives was influenced by the perceived relevance and benefit of content to later clinical practice. Recruitment and educational setting were found to influence student satisfaction and motivation. Barriers to the implementation of IPE included; cultural differences and participant background. The consideration of learning outcomes in accordance with kirkpatrick’s hierarchy highlighted a paucity of data relating to societal and patient impact, with a lack of longterm follow-up.

There is potential value in the use of IPE within the medical undergraduate palliative care curriculum, however there is need for more robust research with longterm follow-up.

Hull York Medical School, The University of Hull and University of York
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