Sanford School of Medicine LifeCircle South Dakota

Interdisciplinary Education in Palliative Care

Schrader, S., Brechtelsbauer, D., Heins, J., Holland, P., & Schroeder, P.  (2012). Interdisciplinary education in palliative care:  Impact on attitudes of students in medicine, nursing, pharmacy, social work, and chaplaincy."  2012. South Dakota Medicine 65 (10): 381-393.

Interdisciplinary education among health professions has been recommended but the questions remain:  How effective is it and what impact does it have? Pre-test and post-test instruments assessing attitudinal change were administered in three five-week seminars during 2009-2010 to 88 South Dakota students in medicine, nursing, pharmacy, social work, and chaplaincy participating in the Interdisciplinary Palliative Care Seminar.  Quantitative data suggest that interdisciplinary education enhanced students' understanding of their discipline and the work of other disciplines.  Students perceived the team approach as enhancing patient outcomes, goal setting, and communication among colleagues.  Qualitative data reinforced the importance of interdisciplinary education while revealing strains among disciplines in hierarchy and valuing.   Playing their part in the team strengthened students' confidence and comfort in interdisciplinary settings.  Yet, the hazard of experiencing the limitations of teamwork in action must be acknowledged for some. Implications of these findings are discussed, with recommendations for future research.

PMID:  23097999  [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]