Health disparities early learner simulation to improve interprofessional competencies

Susanne G. Barnett, Krystle K. Campbell, Leah M. Kechele, Michael Lasarev, Erick Przybylski, Gina E. Tranel, Joseph A. Zorek, Jamie Hess

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To date, interprofessional simulation has predominantly focused on advanced learners and practicing providers with a focus on application of medical knowledge. Our study sought to create and evaluate an interprofessional simulation for early learners in an experiential setting. First-year medical and pharmacy students, and second-term accelerated undergraduate nursing students participated in a face-to-face simulation focused on health disparities to improve interprofessional teamwork and communication skills. Student self-perceived competence was measured through completion of the Interprofessional Collaborative Competency Attainment Survey-Revised (ICCAS-R) (1 = poor; 3 = good; 5 = excellent), which was administered after simulation completion in a retrospective pre-/post-test manner. Activity assessment questions and students’ comparative ability to collaborate interprofessionally were also evaluated at the conclusion of the simulation. A total of 351 students participated in the simulation (178 medical, 41 accelerated undergraduate nursing, and 132 pharmacy). A significant increase in mean total (SD) ICCAS-R scores was seen in all students from 3.3 (0.6) to 4.0 (0.6) (p < 0.001). Analysis of the six mean subscale scores (communication, collaboration, roles and responsibilities, patient-centered care, conflict management, and team functioning) for all student disciplines revealed a significant increase in self-reported interprofessional competencies (p < 0.001 for all subscales). When asked to compare one's ability to collaborate interprofessionally now compared to prior to the simulated learning activity, 83% of students reported their ability as somewhat better or much better now. Medical, accelerated undergraduate nursing, and pharmacy student participation in an early learner simulation activity focused on teamwork, patient-centered care and health disparities, led to significant increases in self-reported interprofessional competencies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100572
JournalJournal of Interprofessional Education and Practice
StatePublished - Dec 2022


  • Early learner
  • Interprofessional competency
  • Interprofessional education
  • Simulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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