Lightning Talk

Impact of an Interprofessional Community-Engaged Poverty Module on Key Learning Outcomes: A Qualitative Analysis of Student Reflections

Wednesday, September 14, 2022, 1:15 pm - 2:15 pm CDT

Poverty is a social determinant of health (SDOH) that interprofessional health care teams are trained to address; yet, students in these educational programs may have limited experience with poverty and its impact on patient and community engagement, care, and outcomes. To address how integral poverty is to addressing health outcomes, Binghamton University students from nursing, pharmacy, public health, and social work participated in a class-embedded poverty module and simulation, which included asynchronous readings and videos, a poverty simulation activity, and a panel of community advocates with lived experiences of poverty, discussing poverty’s impact on health behaviors and outcomes. These latter two experiences were in-person prior to the COVID-19 pandemic (2019) and virtual during the pandemic (2020, 2021). This lightning talk will describe themes identified in the qualitative analysis of student written reflection papers. A sample of papers (n=48/610) were randomly selected utilizing a random number generator. Two co-authors conducted an iterative open and thematic coding process to develop and refine the codebook. After ten interviews were coded and an agreement level greater than 75% was met, both authors independently coded the remaining 38 interviews using the consensus codebook. Students across the four disciplines noted that their core learnings included a better understanding of the “competing needs” a person faces while in poverty. The importance of assessing and addressing SDOH was central to how students anticipated utilizing this material in their future approach to patient-centered care and communication. Students also cited community members’ first-hand experiences of poverty and its wide-reaching impact (e.g. transportation, food insecurity) as having an influence on their learning. This analysis supports that community-engaged interprofessional education may be central to students’ learning about poverty as an SDOH and their understanding of how they can contribute to the interprofessional practice with patients in the future.