Growing Our Interprofessional Family Tree to Introduce Learners to the Social Determinants of Health
As our interprofessional education (IPE) has expanded over time, strategic growth of new programs has become necessary. A family-based framework was developed to enable effective mapping of learning opportunities and to identify competency gaps. We aimed to:
• Provide a family-centered learning context for IPE
• Identify and document learning levels for each IPE activity
• Track and map progression and achievement of IPEC competencies
• Provide a pathway for learners to select opportunities, map individual progress and sustain engagement in IP learning
We adapted a tri-level framework for learning activities beginning at the exposure level, progressing through clinical or community immersion towards achieving competence. A ‘family tree’ was then constructed within our eLearning platform (Canvas). ‘Storyline’ software was used to build a family tree structure. Starting with the ‘grandfather’ (Carl in the Nexus), family members (branches) were strategically added to span four family generations. IP student teams undertake case-specific care planning for each family member and observe family member interactions, while developing IP competencies. Social determinants of health are directly linked to family health. A new family member is featured as each case-based learning module is developed to meet different levels of learning in accordance with strategic priorities.
Using a ‘family tree’ underpinned by a framework for competency development supports clinical learning across the lifespan with linkage to the social determinants of health. The ‘family tree’ provides opportunities for family-centered care planning and engagement of a broad range of professions.
Our growing, adaptive IP ‘family tree’ provides the necessary structure and context for IP competency development. Used in tandem with our IPE framework, program gaps can be more easily identified at each level of learning, facilitating strategic planning for IPE. Our Family Tree could be adapted for any profession’s learner group on campus and beyond.
Using an IPE framework to underpin curriculum has enabled gaps to be identified for more strategic development of new IP Programs. Creation of a family tree in tandem with the IPE framework has provided a context for students to learn about the complexities of family-based care across the lifespan, and the social determinants of health.