Examining the Impact of an Interprofessional Education Training Package on Communication during Handoff Performance in Medical and Nursing Students: A Behavior Analytic Approach to Assessment and Intervention
AuthorMaraccini, Amber Marie
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Human-induced medical errors have officially been identified as the nation’s third leading cause of death. Faulty teamwork and communication among interprofessional healthcare providers is a leading cause of such adverse events. Recently, an empirically validated handoff curriculum—known as Inpatient Settings Accelerating Safe Sign-outs (or I-PASS)— has been shown to effectively target communication accuracy and team coordination among healthcare providers. In attempt to further enhance this and other interprofessional healthcare trainings, however, the healthcare education literature has suggested the additional consideration of individual—yet still team relevant—skills such as values and perspective taking. In this study, a behavior analytic intervention—for the training of values and perspective taking skills—was combined with materials from the I-PASS handoff bundle, to create an interprofessional education (IPE) training package for medical and nursing students. Descriptive analysis methods—also from the behavior analytic literature—were used to compare communication performance during a simulated handoff task, prior to and following the completion of the abovementioned training package versus that of a control. Results demonstrated significant improvements in interprofessional communication accuracy and frequency during patient handoffs, independent of package type. Between-group differences were also observed with respect to changes in implicit relational responding—as captured by the Mixed-Trial Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure (MT-IRAP)—with respect to Cooperative and Individualized work stimuli. Participants who completed the intervention involving the values and perspective-taking training demonstrated greater positive relations with the Cooperative work stimuli; whereas, participants from the comparative (i.e., control) intervention demonstrated greater positive relations with the Individualized work stimuli. Future suggestions on how to expand the research and results presented here have been provided.