Dental schools across the U.S. are in the process of incorporating interprofessional education (IPE) into their curricula. At Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center-New Orleans (LSUHSC), the process of educating competent students fully prepared to maximize patient outcomes through interprofessional care is under way. The aim of this study was to establish baseline data on three years of LSU dental students' perceptions of IPE prior to and as a new two-year IPE curriculum was being introduced. A survey was conducted of dental students in all four years from 2015 to 2017 using the Student Perceptions of Interprofessional Clinical Education-Revised instrument, version 2 (SPICE-R2). In 2015, 120 students participated in the survey for a response rate of 46%, followed by 160 students in 2016 (62%) and 170 in 2017 (67%). The results showed that the first-year students in 2017 had a higher total SPICE-R2 mean score than the first-year students in 2015 and 2016; the difference was statistically significant. Even though the 2017 first-year students had only received an orientation to the curriculum at the time they completed the survey, this change in attitude suggests the new focus on IPE was already having an effect on students. There were no statistically significant differences between mean scores for the three cohorts of second-, third-, and fourth-year students, none of whom had experienced the new IPE curriculum. Data from this study will serve as a baseline from which to evaluate the impact of the new IPE curriculum that is now required of all first- and second-year dental students. Through continued IPE exposure in the curriculum and ongoing faculty development, further improvements in students' attitudes toward IPE can be anticipated.
ASJC Scopus subject areas