Preparing Students to Serve a Refugee Population Through a Health-Focused Interprofessional Education Experience

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Journal of allied health

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Refugees may arrive to their destination country with complex mental and physical health challenges. However, healthcare providers often are unprepared to manage refugees' health-related challenges. An interprofessional team of faculty developed an interprofessional education (IPE) training to help prepare health professions students to address refugees' health needs. This paper describes the development and assessment of the training. A three-hour case-based training was created with the following format: online pre-assessment; introduction; radio story about the experience of local refugees; pre-recorded presentation about healthcare in a detention facility; interprofessional group work in small teams; large group discussion; profession-specific group reflections; and online post-assessment. The training was implemented twice (across two successive years), and an investigation of the study participants' self-perceived learning was completed after each training. In the first training, 62 participants (representing medicine, occupational therapy, pharmacy, physical therapy, and social work) completed the assessments. In the second training, 151 participants (representing medicine, nursing, occupational therapy, physical therapy, public health, and social work) completed the assessments. In each study, a statistically significant increase in each of four outcome variables was found at post-assessment. The findings of each study suggested that perceived learning about refugees' health and health care improved after participation in a three-hour IPE training.

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