Learner Experiences Matter in Interprofessional Palliative Care Education: A Mixed Methods Study
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Interprofessional collaboration is needed in palliative care and many other areas in health care. Pallium Canada's two-day interprofessional Learning Essential Approaches to Palliative care Core courses aim to equip primary care providers from different professions with core palliative care skills.
Explore the learning experience of learners from different professions who participated in Learning Essential Approaches to Palliative care Core courses from April 2015 to March 2017.
This mixed methods study was designed as a secondary analysis of existing data. Learners had completed a standardized course evaluation survey online immediately post-course. The survey explored the learning experience across several domains and consisted of seven closed ended (Likert Scales; 1 = "Total Disagree", 5 = "Totally Agree") and three open-ended questions. Quantitative data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and Kruskal-Wallis non-parametric test tests, and qualitative data underwent thematic analysis.
During the study period, 244 courses were delivered; 3045 of 4636 participants responded (response rate 66%); physicians (662), nurses (1973), pharmacists (74), social workers (80), and other professions (256). Overall, a large majority of learners (96%) selected "Totally Agree" or "Agree" for the statement "the course was relevant to my practice". A significant difference was noted across profession groups; X2 (4) = 138; p < 0.001. Post-hoc analysis found the differences to exist between physicians and pharmacists (X2 = -4.75; p < 0.001), and physicians and social workers (X2 = -6.63; p < 0.001). No significant differences were found between physicians and nurses (X2 = 1.31; p = 1.00), and pharmacists and social workers (X2 = -1.25; p = 1.00). Similar results were noted for five of the other statements.
Learners from across profession groups reported this interprofessional course highly across several learning experience parameters, including relevancy for their respective professions. Ongoing curriculum design is needed to fully accommodate the specific learning needs of some of the professions.