Category: Clinical Practice (assessment, diagnosis, treatment, knowledge translation/EBP, implementation science, program development); Spinal Cord Injury; Quality Improvement and Implementation Science
Purpose: To develop an interdisciplinary classroom environment with graduate students in medicine, nursing, engineering and occupational/physical therapy and SCI consumers to foster a global understanding of SCI and prepare well-rounded providers for persons with SCI.
Students were invited to sign-up for the elective course via emails sent by the Case Wesern Reserve Medical School's Registrat's office, flyers posted throughout the medical school and word-of-mouth from department chairs in medicine, nursing and biomedical engineering and the Cleveland State University's College of Science and Health Professionals. SCI consumers were recruited by Drs. Nemunaitis and Roach.
Setting : Classes took place both at Case Western Reserve University and the Institute for Rehabilitation at MetroHealth.
Participants (or Animals, Specimens, Cadavers) :
Class participants were graduate students in medicine, biomedical engineering, nursing and occupational and physical therapy. We have had 6 classes with 52 students. 20 medical, 17 engineering, 2 nursing, and 12 PT/OT students. 15 unique SCI consumers have participated over 55 lectures.
Interventions : Ten interactive lectures and discussions covering all major body systems affected by spinal cord injury, one lecture discussing the biosocial model of health and the social determinants of health. The last lecture included a wheelchair skills test as students wheeled to an Assistive Living home on the MetroHealth campus and experience with a modifies van for persons with SCI. Each lecture/discussion lasted 2 hours.
Main Outcome Measure(s) : Satisfaction with the course.
Student and SCI consumer evaluations were very good; with overall average course satisfaction score of 4.5 on a 5-point scale with 1 being Very Poor and 5 being Excellent. Students particularly found the interaction with the SCI consumers to be a highlight of the course.
An integrated learning environment can provide an opportunity for students to have a more global understanding of the consequences SCI and the value of diagnostic and assistive technology which will hopefully translate into better care and outcomes for persons with SCI.