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Overcoming barriers to interprofessional education in gerontology: the Interprofessional Curriculum for the Care of Older Adults

Authors Schapmire TJ, Head BA, Nash WA, Yankeelov PA, Furman CD, Wright RB, Gopalraj R, Gordon B, Black KP, Jones C, Hall-Faul M, Faul AC

Received 29 August 2017

Accepted for publication 28 November 2017

Published 15 February 2018 Volume 2018:9 Pages 109—118

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/AMEP.S149863

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Robert Robinson

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Anwarul Azim Majumder


Video abstract presented by Tara J Schapmire.

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Tara J Schapmire,1,2 Barbara A Head,1,2 Whitney A Nash,3 Pamela A Yankeelov,2,4 Christian D Furman,1,4,5 R Brent Wright,5 Rangaraj Gopalraj,5 Barbara Gordon,6 Karen P Black,3 Carol Jones,1 Madri Hall-Faul,6 Anna C Faul2,4,7

1Division of General Internal Medicine, Palliative Care and Medical Education, University of Louisville School of Medicine, 2Kent School of Social Work, 3School of Nursing, 4The Institute for Sustainable Health & Optimal Aging, University of Louisville, 5Division of Geriatric Medicine, University of Louisville School of Medicine, 6Kentuckiana Regional Planning & Development Agency, Louisville, KY, USA; 7Department of Social Work, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa

Abstract: A fragmented workforce consisting of multiple disciplines with varying levels of training and limited ability to work as a team often provides care to older adults. Interprofessional education (IPE) is essential for preparing practitioners for the effective teamwork required for community-based, holistic, person-centered care of the older adults. Despite numerous programs and offerings to advance education and interdisciplinary patient care, there is an unmet need for geriatric IPE, especially as it relates to community-dwelling older adults and caregivers in medically underserved areas. A core group of university faculty from multiple disciplines received funding from the Health Resources and Services Administration Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program to collaborate with community-based providers from several Area Agencies on Aging in the creation and implementation of the Interprofessional Curriculum for the Care of Older Adults (iCCOA). This geriatric curriculum is interprofessional, comprehensive, and community-based. Learners include third-year nursing students, nurse practitioner students, third-year medical students, internal medicine and family medicine residents, master’s level social work students, third-year pharmacy students, pharmacy residents, third-year dental students, dental hygiene students, community-based organization professionals, practicing community organizers, and community health navigators. This article describes the efforts, successes, and challenges experienced with this endeavor, including securing funding, ensuring equal representation of the disciplines, adding new components to already crowded curricula, building curriculum on best practices, improving faculty expertise in IPE, managing logistics, and ensuring comprehensive evaluation. The results summarize the iCCOA components, as well as the interprofessional domains, knowledge, and competencies.

Keywords: interdisciplinary education, geriatrics, team-based care, community-based care, curriculum

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