Lightning Talk

Evolution of Interprofessional Short Term Experiences in Global Health in Under-resourced Regions of Ecuador: A University of Kentucky and Shoulder to Shoulder Collaboration

Tuesday, September 13, 2022, 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm CDT
interprofessional global health

The University of Kentucky (UK) has a long-standing partnership with Ecuador, beginning in 1965 building to the first short term experience in global health (StEGH) in 2002. In 2007 the Shoulder to Shoulder Health Clinic opened and remains supported through a UK and Ecuador partnership. The first StEGHs utilized uni-professional and then multidisciplinary co-located models of care, but this evolved over the years toward a collaborative model. Recently, to provide more comprehensive care, the Ecuadorian and UK partners implemented a pilot model at the clinic to triage complex patients to a break-out collaborative clinic.

Guided by cognitive apprenticeship theory, interprofessional teams of licensed health professionals and students from UK and Ecuador interacted with complex patients to develop a comprehensive integrated treatment care plan. Professionals utilized a think-aloud protocol as they worked through the diagnostic reasoning process to allow learners to better understand the diagnostic reasoning utilized by multiple professions. A non-clinician educator observed the encounter and provided feedback to the group guided by the IPEC Core Competencies for Interprofessional Education.

A mixed method retrospective pre and post design was used to assess the impact of the pilot on prelicensure learners (n=10). Results of a paired t-test using the ICCAS indicated that post scores (M = 6.405) as compared to pre scores (M=5.360) were significantly higher t (9) = 4.962, p < .001. Qualitative analysis of the open-responses suggested that the experience helped students understand patient-centered care; interprofessional communication; interprofessional roles, responsibilities, and scopes; an understanding of others’ diagnostic reasoning strategies; and an appreciation for the authentic clinical context. This is a sustainable educational model with the capacity to impact care delivery at this clinic and enhance the continuing partnership between UK and Ecuador. It demonstrates the potential that can be garnered through community partnerships in a global environment.