J Allied Health. 2023 Spring;52(1):e17-e21.
PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to determine if a statistically significant difference existed between student perceptions of virtual (online) vs traditional in-person IPE simulation.
METHODS: Students (n = 397) from eight health professions at one northeastern university attended either a virtual or an in-person IPE session during the spring 2021 semester. Students were allowed to choose which session type to attend. A total of 240 students attended one of 15 virtual sessions, and 157 came to an in-person session (n = 22). After the sessions, an anonymous 16 question face-validated survey was sent to each students’ university email account. The survey included 12 Likert-scale questions, 2 demographic questions, and 2 open-ended questions. Descriptive statistics and independent t-tests were completed. Statistical significance set at p < 0.05.
RESULTS: Survey response rate was 27.9% (n = 111/397). In-person training had higher mean scores for Likert questions; however, there was not a statistically significant difference. All student responses were rated favorably for both training types (≥ 3.07/4). Themes were evident and included positive experiences with learning the roles of other professions (n = 20/67); communication either between the health care team members or with the patient/family (n = 11/67); and collaborating with other members of the health care team (n = 11/67).
CONCLUSION: Orchestrating IPE activities across multiple programs and numerous students can be challenging, but the flexibility and scalability of virtual sessions may offer an IPE alternative that students find equally satisfying when compared to in-person learning.