Overcoming Barriers to Interprofessional Education in Gerontology: the Interprofessional Curriculum for the Care of Older Adults

Advances in Medical Education and Practice (02/15/18) Vol. 2018, No. 9, P. 109; Schapmire, Tara J.; Head, Barbara A.; Nash, Whitney A.

There is currently an unmet need for gerontology interprofessional education (IPE), in particular as it relates to community-dwelling older adults and caregivers in medically underserved areas. A core group of faculty from multiple disciplines at the University of Louisville collaborated with community-based providers from several Area Agencies on Aging to create and implement the Interprofessional Curriculum for the Care of Older Adults (iCCOA). The iCCOA is a gerontology curriculum that is interprofessional, comprehensive, and community-based. Learners include third-year nursing students, nurse practitioner students, third-year medical students, and community health navigators, among others. Faculty members developing the curriculum were asked to review the existing curricular content covering the care of older adults for their discipline, and to make recommendations for the new curriculum, which focused on interprofessional care. Online modules were created in an interactive software program that links to videos, websites, and activities, and engages learners with questions and tasks to facilitate interactive learning. Five cased-based modules are required of all learners and must be accomplished independently, with completion time averaging 4–5 hours. They are completed prior to participation in interprofessional case management experiences as a means to "level" the knowledge base of all learners related to integrative community-based geriatric care before they interact with the other disciplines. Future steps will include collecting and analyzing additional data and further improving and integrating the IPE into the institutional curriculum in a sustainable manner, the authors report.

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