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Gross, Carla Jean; Ph.D.
Program of Education
College of Human Development and Education; North Dakota State University
November 2011

Development of an Instrument to Measure Collaborative Competencies in Interprofessional Health Care Education

Major Professor: Dr. Nathan Wood


Despite the widespread endorsement of interprofessional education (IPE), health care education has not implemented the strategy to the extent expected.  Decisions to adopt and implement IPE must be based on evidence indicating that the approach is superior in promoting collaboration as compared to the traditional, unprofessional educational approach.  Evidence supports that incorporating IPE into the curricula generally improves students’ attitudes, perceptions, and knowledge of teamwork skills on a short-term basis.  Whether IPE produces graduates who are prepared to collaborate more effectively on the health care team in practice has not been determined because valid instruments have not been developed to measure the collaborative competencies expected for health care students and professionals.

This dissertation examined the psychometric properties of an instrument designed by the researcher to measure collaborative competencies in health care students.  In addition, this study examined the impact of IPE undergraduate nursing students’ ability to collaborate with other members of the health care team.  Using an electronic version of the instrument, data were collected during the spring semester of 2011.  The convenience sample (n = 293) included baccalaureate-nursing students enrolled at two Midwest state universities that incorporated IPE into the curriculum and six midwest state universities that did not incorporate IPE into the curriculum.

Factor analysis was conducted using two, four, five, and six factor rotations with varimax and promax rotations  The four-factor model with promax rotation provided the best defined factor structure, demonstrating a combination of empirical findings and theoretical constructs.  Results indicated that patient-centered care, role clarification, interprofessional communication, and teamwork are constructs that can be used to design competencies for collaboration.  The construct of conflict resolution did not emerge as a separate factor.

The independent-samples t-test revealed significant differences between the mean scores for interprofessional communication (p = 0.010) and health care teamwork (p = 0.044) between non-IPE and IPE groups.  One-way ANOVA analysis revealed no significant differences for gender, previous experience, or GPA.  Students in the older age group (>31) rated themselves significantly higher in the factors of role clarification (p = 0.002), interprofessional teamwork (p < 0.001), and patient-centered care (p = 0.003).

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Last Updated: Monday, September 30, 2013 12:27:00 PM