Interprofessional education increases knowledge, promotes team building, and changes practice in the care of Parkinson's disease
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OBJECTIVE: Examine outcomes for the National Parkinson Foundation (NPF) Allied Team Training for Parkinson (ATTP), an interprofessional education (IPE) program in Parkinson's disease (PD) and team-based care for medicine, nursing, occupational, physical and music therapies, physician assistant, social work and speech-language pathology disciplines. BACKGROUND: Healthcare professionals need education in evidence-based PD practices and working effectively in teams. Few evidence-based models of IPE in PD exist. METHODS: Knowledge about PD, team-based care, the role of other disciplines and attitudes towards healthcare teams were measured before and after a protocol-driven training program. Knowledge, attitudes and practice changes were again measured at 6-month post-training. Trainee results were compared to results of controls. RESULTS: Twenty-six NPF-ATTP trainings were held across the U.S. (2003-2013). Compared to control participants (n = 100), trainees (n = 1468) showed statistically significant posttest improvement in all major outcomes, including self-perceived (p < 0.001) and objective knowledge (p < 0.001), Understanding Role of Other Disciplines (p < 0.001), Attitudes Toward Health Care Teams Scale (p < 0.001), and the Attitudes Toward Value of Teams (p < 0.001) subscale. Despite some decline, significant improvements were largely sustained at six-month post-training. Qualitative analyses confirmed post-training practice changes. CONCLUSIONS: The NPF-ATTP model IPE program showed sustained positive gains in knowledge of PD, team strategies and role of other disciplines, team attitudes, and important practice improvements. Further research should examine longer-term outcomes, objectively measure practice changes and mediators, and determine impact on patient outcomes.
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