Lightning Talk

Using Conservation of Resources Theory to Explore the (stalled) Nature of IPE

Monday, August 22, 2022, 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm CDT
Theoretical ModelconservationOrganizational Stress

Despite decades of research touting the value of interprofessional education (IPE), as well as the inclusion of tenets of interprofessional competencies into various heath profession education accreditation standards, there continues to be a hesitancy for organizations to authentically and consistently integrate IPE and collaborative-learning experiences into curriculum and training of their respective health profession programs. Time, space, and (negative) perceptions of learning with and from other health professions continue to serve as persistent challenges to realized IPE opportunities – which, in turn, continue to thwart education-to-practice initiatives and team-based healthcare delivery.
A micro-level theory prominent in the stress and health literature, Conservation of Resources theory (COR), emphasizes that individuals have a basic motivation to obtain, retain, foster, and protect those things they centrally value – their resources. Moreover, according to COR theory, psychological stress occurs when individuals are: 1.) threatened with resource loss, 2.) lose resources, or 3.) fail to gain resources following resource investment. Although the categories of “resources” outlined by COR are focused on the individual (e.g. Objects (car, house); Conditions (good marriage, job security); Personal Characteristics (high self-esteem); Energies (credit, money)) – COR can be explored through a more meso, organizational-level lens to examine the motivations of health professions programs (i.e. Medicine, Nursing, PA, PT, OT, Dental, etc.) to conserve valued organizational-level resources such as course-time, physical space, occupational status, uni-professional identity, and uni-professional curriculum, among others. From this perspective, in this talk I argue that although explicitly stated as valued and important by program leadership, interprofessional education and collaborative–learning opportunities are actually implicit threats and stressors to profession/program-specific resources, and in turn, not consistently promoted, protected, or sustained.